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Chinese and Filipino Seafarers: A Race to the Top or the Bottom?

  • MINGHUA ZHAO and MARAGTAS S.V. AMANTE

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All countries with significant coastlines and groups of islands inevitably produce seafarers at some time or other in the course of their economic development, and the two countries which are the subject of this paper are no exceptions. Chinese ships and seafarers were famously exploring the Indian Ocean more than a century before the arrival of the Portuguese and once the Spanish Pacific empire was established in the sixteenth century, the ships linking Mexico to Manila were mainly crewed by Filipinos. And it need hardly be said that Chinese and Filipinos have both been employed by foreign ship-owners throughout the twentieth century. What is unquestionably new is the magnitude of Filipino seafarers' employment in the world's merchant ships and the extraordinary growth of China as a nation with a major stake in the shipping industry, both as ship-owner and as a source of seafarers.

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Chinese and Filipino Seafarers: A Race to the Top or the Bottom?

  • MINGHUA ZHAO and MARAGTAS S.V. AMANTE

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