Vice-Premier Wang Yang and US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew were due to showcase Sino-US friendship on June 5.
They were scheduled to make a boat trip at the Summer Palace in Beijing.
Lew arrived in Beijing a day before the annual China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, being held in the Chinese capital.
A 400-plus United States delegation, including more than 10 ministers, arrived in Beijing on June 5 to attend the two-day dialogue.
US Secretary of State John Kerry will co-chair the strategic part of the dialogue with State Councilor Yang Jiechi on June 6. Launched in 2009, the dialogue has become an important platform for communication between the two countries.
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow of defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, said the main issues at the dialogue are likely to be nuclear security on the Korean Peninsula, preserving and enhancing the global trading system, and the South China Sea.
John Frisbie, president of the US-China Business Council, an organization comprising US companies investing and trading in China, said the dialogue comes three months before President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama meet during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in September.
Some of the outcomes are likely to be resolved at the presidents’ September meeting, rather than at the dialogue, he said.
Zhiqun Zhu, an associate professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University in the US, said the annual dialogues have helped to keep communication channels open and to stabilize the bilateral relationship when it is being challenged by various factors.
“No matter who the next US president is, such crucial dialogue mechanisms must be maintained to ensure stability and continuity of the relationship.” he said.