What Does "Made in XXX" Mean Today?
This day and age, "Made in xxx" simply means that country xxx is the place where final assembly occured! In some cases, the entire thing -- components and assembly -- can take place all in one country. But very often, components can come from all over the world. Even with the exact same brand/model/make -- the component origins can be totally different between batches, and the final assembly location too can be different. It's one of the reasons why they have batch numbers!
Who's Responsible for Quality, Safety
China is not one giant monolith. When it comes to imports, we are talking about thousands of factories -- contracting, subcontracting... Just like with businesses here in the US or anywhere else in the world, some will be honest, others will cut corners, and a few will be downright crooks!
Who's responsible? I would say every entity up and down the supply chain, but the PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY lies with the brand. If TNF (using an example) sells me a jacket, I would expect it to perform as advertised, and also conform with safety laws (e.g. fire retardant). If someone in TNF's factory neglects the fire retardant coating and I get burned, I would go after TNF. It's then up to TNF to discipline/improve its own factory.
Nothing should change just because TNF decides to outsource. If my "Made in XXX" TNF jacket fails, I will still look to TNF. TNF can then turn around and work out the bugs with its supply chain -- be it a design problem, a component sourcing problem, or an assembly problem.
China has its share of crooks who cut corners unbeknownst to the Brand (the buying company). But there are also cases where the brand outsources to save cost / increase profits. The brand may be the one providing a lousy design and shoddy components (e.g. cheap glue) to China. And when our boots fall apart in the first week, many of us end up blaming "cheap Asian imports" unfairly. Products are made to the specs of the brand. The brand is ultimately responsible to the buying public.