It's going to be a close encounter of the cultural kind when Charlton Heston directs a Chinese cast in a Beijing production of Herman Wouk's "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial." The actors will be selected from the ranks of the Beijing People's Art Theatre, where Arthur Miller staged a Chinese production of his "Death of a Salesman." At a Monday press conference, James A. Doolittle, general director of the Southern California Theatre Assn., said that he and Bette Bao Lord, wife of U.S. Ambassador to China Winston Lord, will co-produce. "We will finance the bringing over (to China) of the American contingent," Doolittle said, "and the Chinese government will pick up production costs." Doolittle also suggested this could be the start of an ongoing exchange. Chinese Ambassador Ma Yuzhen, also present, added that he saw this as "a deepening of relations between our countries. Chinese young people are very curious about American culture," he said. "They want to know more. And Mr. Wouk's work is very popular in China, so this is the perfect play." Wouk, who will be at the Beijing opening, said, "This project is sufficiently exciting to warrant being there. But it's a helluva long way to go for an out-of-town opening." Heston directed and starred in a production of "Caine Mutiny" that played London, Washington and Los Angeles in 1986.