With the assistance of the recruiter, I was able to negotiate via email that the end date be changed back to 12 months as the job ad originally stated. I mentioned this earlier in the thread, but for whatever reason the email still has not been put to paper so to speak. Unfortunately, the college is making this negotiation longer than it should be.
I am definitely looking for statements on taxes and OT given the dodgy reputation of Chinese employers, especially since there is very little information out there on this institution. Also, the Primer on Chinese Teaching Contracts post on this very forum recommends that these two items be explicitly stated in the contract.
They did send me an English and Chinese version of the appendix of an earlier contract. I had my friend who can read Chinese compare the two, and they were identical. I've heard stories of the Chinese version being different and taking precedence over the English version which played to the disadvantage of the teacher. Your analogy of a memorandum definitely makes sense in this case.
EDIT: Going to post the latest contract in the contracts section of the forum. Here is the link to the new post in the contracts section: http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=9607.0