Personally I would not reccomend:
Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou) China
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee) China/Taiwan
In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai) China
Not as they are bad films, all three are good. Just because all three Directors have done much better films. Then again as a Chinese it's much easier for me to get access to these films. I don't know how readily accessible they are in "The west".
I would reccomend Kar-Wai's 2046 or in particular Dung che sai duk. (Ashes of Time)
I was never a huge Ang Lee fan but Xi yan (Wedding banquet) would probably be his best (non American) work.*
*Ice storm might be his best.
As for Yimou Zhang look no further than Wo de fu qin mu qin (The road home) or Xingfu shiguang (Happy times).