This book sets out the history of the Chinese in Britain, from the angle of changes in their economic and social standing. By analysing their migration patterns, associational structures, and paths of enterprise development, the book seeks to understand processes of identity formation among members of this community -- and, by extension, of ethnic minorities in general. Through this approach, the book tackles issues raised by transnational studies concerning the organisation of capital flows, patterns of enterprise development, and the nature of identity formation in diasporic communities. This study points up the complex and intricate interplay of ethnic and national identities in the lives of Chinese in Britain. A constant thread across two hundred years of Chinese presence has been the vigour of British national identity among migrants' descendants. The emergence of new forms of identification among diasporic groups undermines the claim that ethnic minorities function as cohesive units in economies or societies by combining to protect vested interests. This book argues that transnational studies reinforce essentialist conceptions of identity and of cultural authenticity in diasporic communities, and thus frustrate the promotion of ethnic co-existence and social cohesion in multi-ethnic societies.