The genus was named in 2005 by Dong Zhiming and Lü Junchang. The type species is Liaoxipterus brachyognathus. The genus name is derived from the discovery locality Liaoxi and a Latinised Greek pteron, "wing". The specific name is derived from Greek brachys, "short" and gnathos, "jaw".
The genus is based on holotype CAR-0018, an almost complete but crushed 161 millimetres long mandible (fused lower jaws), which differs from that of all known other ctenochasmatids in its short teeth and low tooth count (eleven per side). Also a detached hyoid is present.
Liaoxipterus was classified by Dong as a member of the Ctenochasmatidae. Wang and colleagues suggested in 2006 and 2008 that it was an istiodactylid instead. In 2008 Lü concluded that Nurhachius was a subjective junior synonym of Liaoxipterus.