"It's like this: a Chinese product can be"
Yes it can be. And in between 1950 and 1980, in a span of just 30 years, the Japanese changed their reputation from "Japo Crapo" to some of the finest and most respected electronics
and cars on the planet.
The difference being that China
comes from literally a thousand years of the Sun God and the three Kingdoms, with the wide-eyed hairy barbarians in the Old World being barely one cut above the other animals
in the Lower Kingdom. Screw 'em, they're barely human. Then there are endemic practices that most of the developed world has either put to an end or at least made extensive attempts to change, which China hasn't. Had any toxic contaminants put in milk, medicines, pet foods, toothpaste intentionally
by any "Western" companies lately? Maybe all of our news is slanted but it seems like scandals from China outnumber most other nations. Although, Nigeria seems to lead in internet
scams but that's perhaps because industrial espionage is more valuable and, well, maybe our news is wrong but the Chinese government
seems to be sponsoring a lot of that as well.
Perceptions are sometimes wrong, and always can be changed. Traditions run deep in China and the government
doesn't seem to be in a hurry, or able, to really change these things. Even the Disney companies would gladly burn Shenzhen to the ground if that could stop mass counterfeiting of DVDs, which any tourist can find, but the local government can't. Or so they say.
Chain welding machines work
the same way all over the world. And when they're out of spec, or poorly adjusted, or not monitored in use, they work
poorly no matter where they are. It wouldn't surprise me if machinery that worked perfectly well in France
was scrapped when it got out of spec, wound up in China, and some farmer with no engineering skills was "maintaining" it at a chain plant. Feeding it chain made from mixed scrap metals, with lower alloy control, and electricity from a less reliable power grid, with voltage fluctuations, and other opportunities to help the machine fail more often.
This is not unique to China, no. But in the US ane EU, sweatshops burned and workers died a hundred years ago, and now, there is much less tolerance for this. Along with more ways to report and shut down the ones that continue. One day China will figure this out. Or, kill itself with toxins and graft. The same options every country has.
There was a unique problem with some radioactive dinnerware in the US about twenty years ago. It turned out to have been cast in Mexico
. From stainless steel
scrap. Which somehow included the steel
cask holding medical
radium or some other element not normally passed in trade
. And now we're having problems with Mexican pepper products (hot sauce, etc.) apparently because somehow, there's an unhealthy level of cadmium or lead or something coming in with the peppers grown there. So, unique to China? No. Just too damned common from China, and too widely endorsed by government and tradition there.