It seems cultural politics has taken centre stage in the debate about Australia's economic prospects in a global economy centred on Asia.
The near-complete consensus is that Australians lack the sensitivity and understanding to effectively compete in Asian markets and forge ever-closer ties with our northern neighbours.
As well as being reminiscent of the cultural cringe of a bygone era, these calls for deeper Asia awareness undersell Australia's natural strengths.
The idea that we are dangerously ignorant of the languages, cultures and mores of Asia is a step back towards a time when it was fashionable to deride Australia for being crude compared to European standards of sophistication.
It suggests Australians are embarrassingly Asia-illiterate and not quite ready to move beyond their parochial shores.
Perhaps this view is the result of the sneaking suspicion that the society that brought us the White Australia policy could not possibly be successful in the Asian Century.