From the first whistle, China appeared determined not to concede, putting ten men behind the ball whenever Brazil crossed the halfway line. The tactic frustrated the Auriverde for the first 18 minutes, but the Olympic hosts had no answer to some excellent combination play between Diego and Ronaldinho, which led to the former scoring the opening goal.
Receiving the ball from Thiago Neves, the Werder Bremen midfielder exchanged passes with the new AC Milan man before running clear of the China defence, rounding Liu Zhenli and slotting the ball home.
The goal seemed to inspire Diego, who was arguably Brazil's most influential player in the opening 45 minutes. Within a ten minute spell he supplied both Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho who were denied by some last ditch defending from a committed Chinese defence.
On the rare occasions that China did go forward, they posed a threat, particularly down Brazil's right side. Ilsinho was given a few headaches by hardworking lone striker Dong Fangzhuo who was working the channels to good effect.
Jiang Niang caused a few flutters in the Brazil defence when his cross was turned into the side netting by Marcelo, but Dunga's men served notice of their impressive ability to break quickly when Ramires released Alexandre Pato with only Liu standing in the way of the AC Milan forward's second goal of the competition.
His first attempt was parried by the keeper, but collecting the rebound on the right hand side of the box, he curled in an effort which almost crept inside the far post, but bounced away for a goal kick.
After the interval Hao Junmin's corner was almost headed home by Jiang, while Brazil had plenty of the ball, but failed to threaten China's goal for the opening 20 minutes of the second half. However, in the 69th minute, the hosts presented Brazil with an opportunity - and the south Americans made no mistake.
Ronaldinho played a wonderful defence-splitting pass for substitute Rafael Sobis to chase. The striker caught up with the ball, but found himself wrestled to the ground by Han on the edge of the area. From the resulting free-kick, Thiago Neves curled the ball around the wall and into the net, with Liu rooted to the spot.
Thiago Neves scored his second and Brazil's third of the evening four minutes later. Diego exchanged passes with Ramires and the opening goalscorer found the Flumininese player in space. He let fly with a left footed shot which nestled in the bottom right corner of the net. Although Zhou Haibin clipped the bar and Jo had a great chance for another Brazil goal, 3-0 was how it finished at the final whistle.
The result confirmed Brazil's presence at the summit of Group E and they will meet Cameroon in Shenyang on Saturday.