Martin Hunter's side was depleted by withdrawals, including Matthew Etherington, but England still created enough chances to win the game.
In the other Group A encounter, Brazil thumped Poland 4-0 and England could well rue the dropping of points in their opener.
It was Jacko who provided the first scoring theat of the game, wriggling into a shooting position some 12-yards from goal on seven minutes, but he had the ball whisked off his feet in an excellent last ditch tackle by Lin Zhou.
Chelsea’s Leon Knight, whose loan spell at Huddersfield inspired the Terriers into the Division Two play-offs, was posing repeated problems with his pace down the right.
But the Chinese were not without a say in the game and Chelsea keeper Rhys Evans had to turn Zhou’s free-kick around the post for a corner.
Jackson gave Chinese keeper Jun Yang a more to worry about when his low shot demanded a save.
And the goalkeeper should have been fishing the ball out of his net a minute later, only for Manchester United’s Jimmy Davis to fire wide at the near post from Armstrong’s cross.
United pair Davis and Danny Webber were now exerting their presence on the match, with Davis playing a floating role behind Webber, who had England’s next chance.
Davis chipped a free-kick against the bar in the final minute and Knight sent a header wide in injury time to give further evidence of England’s second-half improvements.
But there was to be no match-winning goal - and England now have three days in which to plot the downfall of next opponents Poland.
Johnnie Jackson carried the threat, but England were held 0-0 by China in their opening group match of the Toulon under-20 tournament.