That story describes the Chinese well. I know many. They aren't dishonest per se, but do see life as much like a poker game: it is foolish to let anyone know anything about you they don't have to know. The constant Chinese smile isn't politeness, it's their version of the poker face. They don't outright lie any more often than we do, but they are exceptionally obtuse, evasive, and hold their cards close to their chests. They are happy to take advantage of anyone too naive to play by these rules.
People from Latin American countries and other places close to the equator strike me as the least interested in obscuring what's on their minds.