Wanna re-tag this thread "racism and ignorant pre-conceptions"?
I'm working out of Asia, and working with many within it. I don't think generalisations about the communication abilities of all people in Asia based on one or two subjective experiences is useful or, to be honest, acceptable. Nor are judgements of concepts of quality or mindset. With a population of 4.3 BILLION people in what is currently accepted as Asia, you will find as many different moulds of people as you would in any other area, in fact mathematically even more so.
It's difficult to address this issue without turning political, but it is worth remembering there are many different countries in Asia, each with it's own set of employment rules, work ethic and attitude toward quality. Some are stronger in some areas than others, and within each, different people and organisations will have different strengths and qualities.
Addressing the initial question, surely it will depend on the assistant?
There are obvious constraints relating to time (depending on where the client is based). A client based in, say, Los Angeles, working with a developer from, for example, Singapore, would struggle to find decent 1-1 interfacing time. I think any working relationship based entirely on emails is very difficult indeed - and unless you have precisely the same mindset, I can see confusion and issues arising regardless of the integrity of the developer.
If the client is in, for example, Germany and the dev in, hmmmm, Thailand, then there is plenty of scope throughout the working day to actually discuss things face to face (well, virtually).
I have certainly seen a lot of "outsourcing" companies which are effectively marketing machines, playing on the "cheap" Asian labour perception to grab as many western tight-asses as they can, grab their cash and deliver shoddy work. I have also seen design and development houses that outshine anything I have seen elsewhere and produce stunning work at an unbelievable (although not quite so unbelievable as the crap-merchants) price and turn around time.
It's the same the world over. It's down to who you hire, not where they are. Good work is good work - shoddy work is shoddy work. It's about building relationships. It's about investing your own time finding the right partner, and working with them properly.