Vangelis’ China is an ode to the country. He made it in a time when China was very much in the news (The US recognising the People’s Republic of China and China’s invasion of North Vietnam), without endorsing any political views. He was just in awe of its culture and history.
This is a concept album. Vangelis uses some Chinese instrumentation and compositional techniques, but on the whole Chinese influence on the music is superficial. But since the album appeared when not many (Western) artists were interested in the East, it still was quite exotic.
Director Ridley Scot used The little fete in a commercial for Chanel no 5. Maybe because he found working with Vangelis easy, he asked him to do the score for his 1980 movie Bladerunner.