I'm in Korea, so I can empathize with not knowing what anything says and not always being able to ask...
Do you have anyone who could write out a few common translations for you, like wool, cotton, etc? I find that generally helps when I'm looking for something. If it's anything like here, the gauge and needle size tends to be written in symbol form on the yarn band with a square showing stitches per 10*10cm and recommended needle size in metric. (see this page, at the bottom, second square from the left). I find this on most yarns imported to Korea and even those made here for the local market.
Also, if you are on Ravelry, there is a China Knitters group who might be able to help you more.
I've ordered online quite a bit and it's been great, but yarn is certainly cheaper here and even more so in China. You might regret not stocking up while you have access. And certainly stock up on cheap bamboo circulars of any size you can get your hands on while you're there!