I have a European view on the above problem:
A 2012 book chapter from Dave Musker, a European & UK patent attorney ["The Overlap between patent and design protection"; http://www.beck-shop.de/fachbuch/leseprobe/9780199696444_LP.pdf ] is helpful on this & talks about the interaction between patents and "industrial designs" (design patents in US, registered designs in Europe).
The Musker article says there is case law in the UK and in Australia that neither a UK patent application nor a AU patent application (in that specific case, an AU "petty patent" application) can claim priority from a foreign (non-UK or non-AU) design application [UK Court decision in Agfa-Gevaert AG’s Application, (1982) RPC 441; and Australian court decision in Anchor Wall Systems Inc v Keystone Retaining Wall Systems Inc  APO 33.]
Also, a European patent application cannot validly claim priority from a registered/industrial design application, as decided in EPO case J 15/80 [ARENHOLD/Deposit of an Industrial Design], published as (1981) OJ EPO 213, or [1979-85] EPOR A56, or  ECC 74.
In general, I doubt that design & patent priorities are mutually claimable/interchangeable, except in the US.
However, Article 4E(1) of the Paris Convention does say that where, in an "industrial design" application, you claim priority from a utility model (UM) application, then "the period for priority shall be the same as that fixed for industrial designs" [i.e. 6 months only, NOT 12 months which is usual for UMs]. Thus, certainly you CAN file a design application claiming priority from a UM application. [So - in your case, the question is: is the earlier Chinese application a patent appl or a utility model appl?]
FYI, Implicitly (though not explicitly), Article 4E(1) of the Paris Convention may well also imply that you can claim priority from a design application in a UM application.
From memory, I believe that in a PCT application (which confers patent and UM protection), you can claim priority from a design.
[Warning: The likely interchangeability / inter-claimability of design and UM priorities probably causes a danger, because you must claim priority from the FIRST application disclosing the relevant subject matter, which may be either a design filing or a UM filing (the latter including a PCT application) ...]
Hope this helps.
All the best,
Tony Breen (Dr)
European and UK patent attorney
European design attorney
17 Sept 2017