The medal is 1 1/4 inch in diameter with an oxidized, relieved finish.
On the obverse is the Imperial Chinese five-toed dragon with the inscription CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION around the upper border and the dates 1900 - 1901 at the bottom.
On the reverse is a trophy composed of an eagle perched on a cannon supported by crossed flags, rifles, an Indian shield, spear and quiver of arrows, a Cuban machete, and a Sulu kris. Below the trophy are the words FOR SERVICE. Around the border at the top are the words UNITED STATES ARMY and around the bottom are thirteen stars.
The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches in width and is composed of the following vertical stripes: 1/16 inch Ultramarine Blue, 1 1/4 inch Golden Yellow, and 1/16 inch Ultramarine Blue.