If you want your movie to (officially) play in China, don't feature any unfavorable Chinese. Also, don't include scenes that take place in China and definitely don't include any anti-China propaganda. In fact, be safe and don't mention or allude to anything Chinese whatsoever.
Movies right and left are being denied for Chinese distribution, some of which end up censored and eventually released. Mission: Impossible IIIhad to cut out six minutes of China-related footage in order to open in theatres.Miami Vicegot rid of 20 minutes! Now The Departed has a chance for distribution ... if it somehow omits scenes depicting a group of Chinese buying military equipment from the mafia.
However, according to Variety, there is no chance of the film being censored or altered. I would hope that this is out of respect to Scorsese and his cut of the film, but it is hard to imagine a studio siding with a filmmaker instead of box office income. But what other reason could Warner Bros. have for not altering the film? It isn't like the characters need to be nationally affiliated with China (Variety's source implies they could be referred to as Iranian or Iraqi, but that wouldn't look quite right).
None of this should upset any Chinese movie fans, of course. The Departed is already available in China in bootleg form.
More on China's distribution issues: