Partnership with the PLA

You are the CEO of a Canadian-Chinese joint venture that
operates in China. Your Chinese partner is the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The PLA has built a sprawling network of businesses that do everything from
raise pigs to run airlines and hospitals, mine coal, man- age hotels, and
operate paging and cellular networks. As a business conglomerate, the PLA does
business with international investors. Some argue that a large portion of
foreign in- vestment going to China is with companies and cartels controlled by
the Chinese military. Others argue that it’s easy to read too much into the
PLA’s foray into business. They point out that there is little centralized
coordination among the thousands of businesses with military affiliations. Some
companies are run by retired officers, others by civilians.

As the CEO of the joint organization, do you have any
ethical concerns about partnering with the PLA? If so, what are they? Suppose a
clash between pro-democracy demonstrators and the PLA turns bloody. How would
this turn of events affect business relations with your PLA partner? Are the
ethical issues of partnering with the Chinese military any different from those
that arise from exporting to China? Why or why not?