This term means acting in good faith. Good faith is one of the principal ethical standards one should observe in order to establish oneself in society. However, one must comply with ethical principles in honoring a promise. If a promise goes against ethical principles, one should not blindly deliver it. Confucianism stresses the importance of acting in good faith for both rulers and people: A ruler must keep his promises made to the people so that they will abide by his decrees; one should be honest and truthful towards friends.
Confucius said: “How can an ox-drawn wagon be pulled if it has no yoke-bar, or a horse-drawn cart be pulled if it has no collar-bar? What good is a man if he acts without good faith?” (The Analects)
Mencius said: “A man of virtue does not have to keep all his promises or act as he says. What matters is that his words and deeds should conform to ethical principles.” (Mencius)