Volcanic ash has been widely used as unique independent marker horizons for dating and synchronizing paleoenvironments and archeological records. Here, we report a series of key widespread late Pleistocene to Holocene tephras horizons from a lake sequence in southern China that have significant potential for dating and synchronizing paleoenvironmental records from East Asia. Translatitudinal paleoclimatological, paleoenvironmental and archeological correlations from the tropical Philippines, mainland China, and mid-latitude Japan are achievable through these extensively distributed tephras, including synthetic studies of the Younger Dryas and mid-Holocene climate events. Additionally, we establish refined ages for four pre-1991 Pinatubo eruptions and date three late Pleistocene Luzon eruptions based on the lake sequence age-model, which will facilitate future studies of tropical volcanic eruptions’ forcing of climate change. Our results highlight the volcanic hazards around densely-populated East Asia, and bring solutions to resolving dating uncertainty in the synchronization of rapid climate events across the region.