I think the biggest mistake people make in a China project is under estimating the complexities and issues that will occur. They see a lower price and assume they are getting a better deal. I used to do a fair amount of work in China, but stopped working on those type of projects as they required way more effort than others thought was required.
The following are a couple of things to think about.
WSJ has an article on a European Highway project that had problems with its China Bulider.
For the Polish highway, by contrast, Covec was hired to manage a complex project from beginning to end in a European Union nation, including design, financing and construction within tight regulatory confines. It failed.
Covec was thin on management expertise, lacked financial skills and didn't understand the importance of regulations and record-keeping in public works projects in the West, according to numerous people involved in the project. Says Marek Frydrych, a Chinese-speaking adviser to Covec: "They thought they came to Africa."
Here is a presentation made at Google by a consultant on comparing American and Chinese Negotiation Styles.