Tea Leaves: Progress on the Bumpy Road to Democracy


A decade ago, I traveled to East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste, to look at the condition of roads and other infrastructure in Asia’s newest country. I was working with the Asian Development Bank at the time, and returned in 2010 for a follow-up visit. It was not until July this year that I returned again — this time as an independent election observer, to witness firsthand the country’s ongoing journey to democracy.

Just like the country’s roads, that voyage remains a work in progress, undoubtedly with more bumps and twists along the way. But in a world awash with cynicism, and with democracy under pressure in so many countries, I found hope in this young nation of some 1.2 million people...

from Nikkei Asian Review

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Ambassador Curtis S. Chin

Ambassador Chin served as U.S. Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He currently serves at the Milken Institute as Asia fellow and is a managing director at the advisory firm RiverPeak Group LLC.


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