I have found a reference which may help to resolve some of the debate. Then again, maybe not.
The reference is the Small Caliber Identification Guide, Volume I, August 1984. I have gotten more good from this guide than any other reference that I own.
The reference states with regard to China, Section IV, page 74:
“China adopted the Soviet bullet tip color coding with the introduction of the Soviet-type weapons and ammuntion in the 1950s. Because China makes fewer functional types in each caliber, there is no need for a full range of bullet tip color codes; for this reason China, starting in 1967, simplified the color coding of cartridges. As an example, China makes only one ball cartridge in caliber 7.62x54R; designated the Type 53, this cartridge is a copy of the Soviet LPS in this caliber.”
Table II on page75 lists the functional codes and a white or silver bullet tip for 7.62x54R caliber designates “Ball (mild steel core) Type 53.” The Type 53 API (black tip, red ring) is listed as pre-1967 and API after 1967 is listed as black tip only.
Hope this resolves some of the discussion.