An Associated Press reporter at the scene said the shell fell about 100 metres (yards) from the embassy, setting two cars on fire and damaging others.
The location was also close to the American Cultural Center, which has been closed for two years.
Monday's shelling came days after shells hit the Iraqi and Russian missions in central Damascus.
On Thursday, a mortar shell slammed into the Iraqi consulate building, killing an Iraqi woman and wounding three. Days before, rebels fired mortars that landed on the grounds of the Russian embassy, wounding three workers.
The governments of China, Russia and Iraq are strong backers of President Bashar Assad's government.