If you have distinct feeling of déjà vu from the Asian century white paper, it’s fine: we've been here before, a lot.

Take one of the 25 objectives (backed by more than 120 "pathways") put forward in the paper, that students will have the opportunity to continuously study an Asian language.

The first politician to promise access to Asian languages was Susan Ryan in the Hawke government, when she unveiled the National Languages Policy. Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian were identified among the priority languages and students were supposed to have access to at least one language as part of their education, "preferably continuously".