This caps the 22-year-old's outstanding debut season after she won the Golden Boot award with 17 goals for Jiangsu following her shock move from Sweden’s Kvarnsvedens at the start of the season.
Chawinga's stunning goal-scoring form fired Jiangsu to a Chinese National Championship and FA Cup double as well as a second-place finish in the Chinese Women Super League.
The former DD Sunshine forward has previously won her three successive top scorer gongs since her move out of Malawi in 2014, including the Swedish Forward of the Year award, having finished top scorer with 25 goals in 2017 before her switch from Sweden.
In her maiden season in China, she notched six goals in the FA Cup, eight in the National Championship plus 17 in the Women Super League to hit 31 goals in 2018.
Reacting to the award, which she's expected to pick up by the end of January, Chawinga claims she never saw it coming.
“To be honest, I never thought I would be named the best player because there are just so many good players here in China," she told Malawi The Nation.
“We were about to start training [on Monday] when the coach called us and said she had some good news. She said they had received communication that I have been named Player of the Year.
“I just could not believe what I was hearing. I just thank the Almighty God for his blessings because without him I wouldn’t be where I am.
“God has been wonderful to me. I also owe it to my team-mates, my family and the football fraternity there at home for their support,” she concluded.
Although, Chawinga missed out on the Caf African Women's Player of the Year for the second year on the bounce, she will take solace in being ranked the best African Women Player of the Year 2018 by The Guardian.