Qing Hua has joined the Spanish marque's young driver development programme, but now has to prove himself before being allowed the prospect of a full test later this year.
Qing Hua, who won the Chinese Touring Car championship last year and the Asian Formula Renault championship in 2004, now faces a series of tests in cars from different categories and simulator tests.
If the 26-year-old confirms his ability, HRT plan to run Qing Hua in the Formula One's Young Driver Test in a few months' time.
"This is a very special moment for me, and it's hard to express how happy I am," said Qing Hua.
"I've dreamt of becoming a Formula One driver since I was very small, and now it has come true thanks to the opportunity HRT has granted me.
"Driving an F1 car will be the most incredible experience and I'm going to work hard to earn it."
Team principal Luis Perez-Sala believes Qing Hua said: "He is a talent in which we believe, and we want to help him in his career so that he can make it to Formula One.
"Due to my (previous) responsibility in the Circuit de Catalunya young driver programme, I've been able to follow his progress and personally assisted some tests he did.
"I knew he had potential, but I was surprised with his speed, safety, adaptation capacity, attitude and professionalism.
"All these virtues make us believe his incorporation to the programme will be very positive and will lead to a fruitful and lasting relationship."