City Research Online

From Marx to Market: A Legal and Empirical Analysis of the Maritime Labour Convention in China

Zhao, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-8935-001X, Zhang, P., Zhao, M. & He, G. (2023). From Marx to Market: A Legal and Empirical Analysis of the Maritime Labour Convention in China. Asia Pacific Law Review, 31(2), pp. 329-357. doi: 10.1080/10192557.2023.2194755


Shipping is the ‘invisible’ backbone that keeps the global economy moving, even during the COVID-19 crisis. This article examines the extent to which seafarers have access to satisfactory shore-based welfare services/facilities (SBWS) that meet global regulatory standards under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). In particular, this article provides an empirical analysis of the implementation of relevant laws and MLC in European countries and China. While China has become a dominant player in world trade in recent years, the existing literature (especially in English) pays little attention to China’s implementation of MLC provisions, including SBWS provisions. To bridge this research gap, this article critically evaluates SBWS in practice in China, using manually-collected data, and compares China’s arrangements with those of European countries. After exploring the different models adopted by Western countries and China, the article evaluates key SBWS providers in China through various lenses – past, present and future initiatives.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article that will be published by Taylor & Francis in Asia Pacific Law Review, available at:
Publisher Keywords: Maritime Labour Convention; Implementation; Empirical evidence in China; Shore-based welfare services and/or facilities (SBWS); Christianity-based model; Marxist-Maoist-based model; From Marx to Market; Public-Private Partnership
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
SWORD Depositor:
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