What's interesting new information is the current design plan for the Chang'e lunar return vehicle (Chang'e 4?) which is envisioned to consist of four modules working in close relay.
First, a four module vehicle will be sent into lunar orbit. Two of those modules will be sent to the lunar surface; one will collect samples and deposit those samples into an ascent stage. The ascent stage will dock with the orbiting module and transfer the lunar samples to another module that will make the return and re-entry to Earth.
I'm no vehicle engineer or orbital mechanics expert, but there would seem to be a lot of rendezvous / docking / transfer techniques to master and a lot of hardware testing before this sort of mission can be accomplished successfully. It's no cake walk.
I have a very high regard for China's space program, and their accomplishments to date have been especially striking given that they have largely been carried out autonomously. Yes, they had some help from the Russians as well as from NASA's (mostly) published data. But credit where it's due.
However, their go-slow, be cautious, and avoid-at-all-costs any embarrassing mission failures approach puts them at a bit of a disadvantage in terms of a 2017 timeline for this kind of mission. A refresher history:
Chang'e 1 (lunar orbiter): 2007
Chang'e 2 (also a lunar orbiter but with more sophisticated imaging capability): 2010
Chang'e 3 (lunar rover): currently planned for 2013
Going from a rover to sample return is about an order of magnitude more complex, and may require an additional mission to ensure the complexities of such a mission are mastered before a high-profile robotic mission. Failure would look bad domestically and internationally, and China's leaders are especially keen to avoid either.
There's a reason no one has brought back lunar samples lately: it's hard. If Chang'e 3 (rover) goes in 2013 or 2014, a Chang'e 4 lunar return mission is thought to be planned for 2017 or 2018. But something tells me that there could be another rover/non-return interim mission around 2016, making the real sample return attempt (which would be Chang'e 5) around 2018. But I'm merely speculating. If they are willing to play it a little more risky and put more craft up quickly (but willing to risk failure), they could move aggressively on the timeline and Chang'e 4 would be the sample return mission as projected in the article in 2017-18.