Beyond the hazy notion of the probable existence of some sort of practical mercantile Confucianism, I really have no idea what informs the moral posture of the everyday person or businessman in China when dealing with others.
I was reading thisL.A. Times story on how the Chinese are treating working in Africa and it seems pretty brutal. What defines the envelope of Chinese personal ethics with respect to how you treat workers or other people generally?
The mine story is oddly pointed in that the Africans are apparently too incompetent and corrupt to runs the mines themselves, but the brutally efficient Chinese who took over the failed nationalist operations are … well… *too * brutal.
My brother went over on a 6 week contract to a Chinese run oil drill in Iran. He was not very impressed with their safety standards. For example, they had a number of machines that needed power extension cords. To save money, the firm only had one old half stripped cord that a worker had to trade around on the machines. My brother said every time this guy switched it from one machine to another he would get a bit of a shock.
He also said the local Iranian workers weren’t too happy with the Chinese bosses, but I don’t know any specifics.
Laogai is use of prison labor ,which some studies say is a significant part of Chinas GNP. Claims are 20 hr work day under horrible conditions. If that is a base point ,then anything is possible.
I worked for companies that designed and built automation and machines. When we sold to the east China, Korea etal ,we knew all safety devices would be removed in production. We charged a lot, feeling sure they would reverse engineer and skip patent rights.
Capitalism stripped bare.