shàn wéi guó zhě bù qī qí mín 善为国者不欺其民
A Good Ruler Does Not Cheat the People.
Public trust is the foundation underlying state power. A good ruler does not cheat the people. This does not mean that the state has no secrets from the public. Rather, it means the ruler should keep his promise, govern the state by law, maintain moral integrity, and have the trust of the people. He must not abuse his power, be deceitful and cheat the people. These acts can only cost him popular support. This notion resonates with the principle that “without people’s trust the state will not survive,” and it is an extension of the principle of putting the people first.
Not doing what cannot be done again means not cheating one’s people… If the ruler does not cheat the people, he will win their support. (Guanzi)
Trustworthiness means not cheating the people. (Hanfeizi)
A ruler who conducts good governance does not cheat the people; just as one who keeps his house in order does not cheat his family. A bad ruler does the opposite… If the ruler does not trust his subordinates, they will not trust him. Loss of mutual trust between a ruler and his subordinates will eventually lead to the disintegration of the state. (History as a Mirror)