Also, there has been much talk of China tightening up its own requirements for a while now. Any word on this?
This is a common thing that we hear about. In Beijing they did up the req's for a work VISA to include 2 years of experience, I've not seen that in print or on the news but that is the word on the street. But as we all know they can be had regardless depending on your school's connections and power.
Honestly I can't see how China could enforce the law so strictly. There are so many teaching jobs available with schools screaming for teachers that if they did the market would be seriously damaged. Not to mention the teachers who could qualify for working VISAs could start demanding very high wages in this scenario which is bad from the school's point of view.