Education About Asia: Online Archives

Geographic Dimensions of Indonesia’s Increasing Importance in the World

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To most Americans, Indonesia is a little-known and greatly undervalued country. It receives far less attention in newspapers and journals than China, Japan, India, and even such smaller countries as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Indonesia tends to make the headlines only when something very significant, and generally negative, occurs, such as the Indonesian connection to illegal political campaign contributions in the 1996 U.S. elections, the forest fires and resulting pallor of smoke hanging over much of insular southeast Asia in 1997, or the severe economic problems Indonesia began experiencing in late 1997.