Asia Is Still Our Future: A Considered Opinion

In one of the few recent books on Indonesia, A Nation in Waiting, author Adam Schwarz writes: "With over 180 million inhabitants, Indonesia's population trails only China, India, and the United States. And yet...Indonesia is all but invisible to most of the West and only scarcely better understood in Asia."

This year, that otherwise low profile rose dramatically as stories about the economic crisis in Indonesia became a fixture in the international press. In early March, when I traveled to Jakarta as President Clinton's special envoy to President Suharto, I had the opportunity both to witness and to participate in the world's new-found interest in Indonesia.