For centuries, the major poweres of the West were seduced by the allure of the countries of "the Far East". Spices, textiles, silk and tea were the staples of East- West trade. But competition between Western traders eventually caused military intervention in Asian affairs and the establishment of colonial empires. These actions have shapred the history of mankind and left a legacy that still reverberates throughout Asia.Western Power in Asia is a unique contribution to the understanding of present- day Asia. Essential reading for anyone interested in world history, Arthur Cotterell offers fascinating insights into five hundred extraordinary years of power and influence by the West, which disappeared spectacularly after the Second World War. The author's ability to tell both sides of the story, with the aid of contemporary illustrations as well as quotations, makes this book a tremendous resource for students of Asian history. And because the entire colonial experience is covered for the first time within a single volume, Western Power in Asia also provides the general reader with an unusual and invaluable perspective on East- West relations.As countries such as China and India become key players on the world stage, Western Power in Asia provides a timely reminder of the path that led to their present positions, while allowing a poignant opportunity to reflect on how they might in future treat their Western trading partners.