Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam, who is in New York for the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), made a side visit to Washington D.C. on 22 September 2014 to deliver keynote remarks at the launch of activities of the Brookings Institution’s Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies.  This Chair was established to enable in-depth policy research at Brookings Institution regarding Southeast Asia.  Its launch was also attended by US National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who also delivered keynote remarks.

In his remarks, Minister Shanmugam said that it was timely to launch the Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies.  The success of countries in the region had created a dynamism which had created new challenges and opportunities.  How the US and China structured their relationship would be of crucial importance to the region and the world.  At the same time, political transitions were underway in almost every Southeast Asian country.  The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was also facing new social, economic, political and strategic challenges.  Minister Shanmugam said that there was broad consensus across East Asia regarding the need for a workable architecture to preserve stability for growth.  How this architecture would look like will be one of the factors that may significantly influence the global architecture of the 21st century.  Minister Shanmugam also spoke about why it was crucial for the US to secure the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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