June Member to Member Lunch – Tensions in the South China Sea: A View from Singapore
June 7th, 2017
The U.S.-Singapore relationship is a key partnership in Southeast Asia and the countries enjoy strong economic ties. Singapore has supported strong U.S. engagement in Southeast Asia since the Cold War as a foundation for ensuring peace and stability in the region. Amid rising tensions with North Korea and ongoing concern over the U.S.-China relationship, the United States continues to cultivate close relations with Singapore as the administration lines up support in the Asia-Pacific to address growing security and economic concerns.
Join us for our last Member-to-Member lunch of the programming year with the Consul General of Singapore in San Francisco, Christopher Cheang, for a discussion on the U.S.-Singapore bilateral relationship as well as an assessment of recent developments in the Asia-Pacific region.
About the speaker:
Christopher Cheang is the Consul General of Singapore in San Francisco. He graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours II Upper) in Political Science in 1980 from the then University of Singapore.
Consul General Cheang joined the Singapore Foreign Service (SFS) in July 1980. He ran his own business from 1990-91 and subsequently worked in Singapore’s premier English language newspaper, the Straits Times, from 1991 until September 1992 when he rejoined the SFS. He has served in various capacities in the Ministry’s Headquarters covering Europe, Southeast Asia, Information Management and Research, and International Economics.
He was posted to Bonn, the then capital of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1983-1987. He also served in the Singapore Embassy in Moscow on three separate occasions from 1994 to 1997, 1999 to 2004 and 2006 to 2013. His last appointment in Moscow was Deputy Chief of Mission and Counselor.
Consul General Cheang speaks fluent German and Russian and is married to Grazyna Elzbieta Krawczyk; they have a daughter.
About the moderator:
Fraser Mendel is a World Affairs Council board member. Fraser founded the boutique law firm Mendel Owens PS in 2014 after 18 years practicing in large international firms. He works with clients in domestic and cross-border transactions, particularly in the area of technology licensing and advising companies expanding internationally. He has represented clients throughout Asia, including in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India and Singapore. He worked in Beijing from 1997 to 2008 as an attorney, and before that spent 5 years in the ‘80s and early ‘90s in Taiwan studying Chinese and working as a journalist. In 2008 Fraser relocated his legal practice to Seattle, and has been actively working on issues connecting Seattle to Asia. He serves as the Chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s International Practice Section, Vice Chair of the Washington State China Relations Council, and on the Board of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle. He is also on the Board of OneWorld Now!, a nonprofit providing language and leadership training and study abroad opportunities to high school students, serves as legal counsel to the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Washington, and mentors law school students at both the University of Washington and Seattle University.