Your right, 40 million deaths is SO much better. That data is from sources that were…very interested… in the crisis for strategic reasons. It is not the old ladies and men we should worry about, it is their grandchildren.
From personal experience piloting Chimes bulkers, not sea buoy to dock, but Great Lakes transits were you often had 38-43 hours on board and really developed a relationship with the Master and mates, it became very apparent that MANPOWER was the next great Chinese export. We’ll leave aside the villager/peasant/3rd world resident argument for a bit and focus on a point I believe you have raised before-you will do what you can to elevate your standard of living and better the conditions for your family. Here is what was happening from about 2002 at least until I left piloting (another long story of government ineptitude but I digress) in 2009:
“Hey son, how’d you like to quit shoveling shit in that field and be a sailor? You would? We’ll, my boy step right this way…” Young men were taken from.deep in the interior, sent to school and whiz bang boom they were STCW qualified entry level mariners. Maybe it was just COSCO’s bulkers but 9 out of 10 couldn’t properly secure a heaving line to a bag, steer a straight course, or much less handle lines at a dock or wires at the locks; an absolute nightmare. There was no natural ability much less a desire to improve. They were a cog in the wheel and their attitude and ability reflected it.
Maybe it is just me but I went sailing because it is ALWAYS what I.wanted to do. Most mariners come from an area near water, not some Podunk farming village/town/ shit hole in the middle of nowhere. We enter this profession because we love the job and the water. I wouldn’t think many people do it on a whim because “Gee, look at the money I amie and the time I get off”. Sure, SOME may, but those are also the ones that leave in the first few years because they become disillusioned. You have mentioned Indonesians and Filipinos who do it to better thet lives but guess What? They live in a region with a long tradition of seafaring, It’s in their blood! China is a bizarre place and little they do in the global stage makes sense to Westerners. You need look no further than the patently ridiculous claims made in the South China sea and their development if man-made islands for no other purpose than an attempt to establish some sort of shyster-lawyer-like claim to natural resources.