If it were asked why we should study and research the Asian context, it is likely

that the answer would follow one or other of two lines, the first instrumental and

pragmatic, the other cultural.1The first argues that these studies are undertaken

to provide us with the practical knowledge we need to attain an equal or

preferably privileged position in our trading, diplomatic, economic and other

dealings with Asian countries, and to develop effective immigration and foreign

policies. This is to acquire knowledge for the enabling power it gives.2