Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a good marker system for geographical genetics since they are functional genes in the immune system that are likely to affect the fitness of the individual, and the survival and evolutionary potential of a population in a changing environment. Golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) is a wild Phasianidae distributed in central and north China. In this study, we used a locus-specific genotyping technique for MHC IIB genes of golden pheasant. Combining with microsatellites (simple sequence repeat, SSR) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop region, we investigated the demographic history and illuminate genetic structure of this bird in detail. SYR (south of Yangtze river) - NYR (north of Yangtze river) lineages, separated by Yangtze River, were defined in genetic structure of MHC IIB. NYR was supposed as refuge during glacial period, suggested by diversity parameters and more ancient alleles in this region. Based on this hypothesis, there was gene flow from NYR to SYR, which was proved by three pieces of evidence: (1) distinct demographic histories of SYR (kept stable) and NYR (experienced expansion); (2) specific affiliation of LC in genetic structure of SSR and MHC genes; (3) significant gene flow from NYR to SYR. Moreover, we also found balancing selection by combination of three Grouping A2's regions (SC, QL and North) into one in Grouping B4 (NYR) and no pattern of isolation by distance (IBD) found in MHC IIB, whereas for SSR we found a relatively strong and significant IBD. Several mechanisms in the evolution of MHC IIB genes, including recombination, historically positive selection, trans-species evolution and concerted evolution, were shown by molecular and phylogenetic analysis. Overall these results suggest the Yangtze River was inferred to be a geological barrier for this avian and NYR might experience population expansion, which invaded into a neighboring region. This study contributes to the understanding of the effects of geographic features on contemporary patterns of genetic variation in the golden pheasant in China, and helps us to define the adaptive unite (AU) for this avian.