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People

Yuan Associates derives its strength from its people. This diverse team of twenty professionals includes former Chinese government officials, diplomats, executives of large state-owned enterprises, American colleagues, members of the media, and international public relations consultants.

     Mr. Yuan Haiying founded Yuan Associates in February 2004, and since then he and the firm have become major players in China's growing government affairs industry.

     Mr. Yuan has thirty years experience in the Chinese Government, including senior diplomatic postings in Washington D.C., as China's Agriculture Attaché, and in Rome, as the Alternate Representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO). He has been involved in negotiations on numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements in the areas of trade, investment, agriculture, forestry, fishery and environmental protection. For his efforts, Mr. Yuan received an Outstanding Contribution Certificate from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Outstanding Contribution Awards from the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In China, Mr. Yuan was the Director of the Ministry of Forestry's Department of International Cooperation, where he coordinated the Ministry's relations and joint projects with foreign governments and international organizations. 

     After retiring from public service, Mr. Yuan worked as Senior Vice President at Edelman Public Relations for three years and as Vice President at APCO Worldwide for three years. Mr. Yuan chaired the Government Affairs Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce and the China Quality Brands Protection Committee (QBPC) of the Chinese Government Cooperation Committee. Additionally, he was a Council Member of the China International Public Relations Association (CIPRA) and the Beijing Foreign Investment Association. 

     Mr. Yuan graduated from Peking University with a degree in English and International Politics. He speaks Mandarin and English.

     Eric Wang joined Yuan Associates in June 2005 and become a firm partner and managing director in May 2011.

     As managing director, Mr. Wang is responsible for ensuring overall high-quality government affairs service to clients by providing strategic guidance and advice to each client service team on day-to-day basis. His role as a partner broadens his responsibilities to also include overall daily operations management in all perspectives for the firm. 

     Mr. Wang has a total of twelve years’ experience in government affairs consulting and five years’ experience in public relations. While at Yuan Associates, he has worked with more than 50 clients in manufacturing sector, including traditional manufacturing, energy, chemical, consumer goods and high-tech industries. Mr. Wang specializes in providing strategic consultancy to help clients deal with complex business situations and formulate “win-win” partnerships with the Chinese government at all levels to proactively address challenges.

     Prior to joining Yuan Associates, Mr. Wang worked in the public relations field for five years, accumulating rich experience in external communications. Mr. Wang started his career at the China Global PR Company, an affiliate of the Xinhua News Agency, and then worked for several international PR companies. While working in the PR industry, Mr. Wang independently managed numerous clients in different sectors, mainly in the pharmaceutical and information technology industries. 

     Mr. Wang holds a master’s degree in Finance from the University of Leicester in UK and a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from Beijing University of Technology.

     Cynthia Xing joined Yuan Associates in June 2005 and become a partner in May 2011. As the Vice President, Ms. Xing specializes in corporate reputation management and complex operational issue management, in addition to provide day-to-day strategic consultancy to clients. Her role as a partner broadens her responsibilities to also include new business development for the firm.

    Ms. Xing has twelve years of experience in government affairs consulting and two years of oversea work experience in external communication and international cooperation. While at Yuan Associates, she has provided comprehensive services for more than 50 clients in agriculture, food and beverage, retail, tourism, and IT/telecommunication industries. She has a breadth of experience in market access, trade and foreign direct investment facilitation, as well as market operations.

     Prior to joining Yuan Associates, Ms. Xing worked at the International Office of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) as a Liaison Officer for the British Home Office and a Student Advisor. At this position, she took the lead on an International Communication and Immigration program for two years.

   Ms. Xing holds a Master of Arts degree in Tourism Management and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management from the UCLan, England. She also holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mobile Telecommunication.


      Brent Yuan joined Yuan Associates in January 2010 and become a partner in January 2017.

     As the Senior Director for Yuan Associates, Mr. Yuan is responsible for client services in the manufacturing sectors. Mr. Yuan focuses his energy on helping international clients to promote corporate reputation and address operational challenges, specializing in government relations and external communications. Since July 2016, Mr. Yuan has been the firm’s key trainer for the Government Affairs Certificate Training Program of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, which has received massive positive recognition after a little bit over one year launch. As a new partner of the firm, Mr. Yuan will spend more time on client services and training programs in 2017 and onwards.

     Mr. Yuan has valuable experience working with multinational companies, concentrating in public relations, branding, crisis management and media relations from ten years of professional experience in relevant fields at both media outlets and multinational enterprises. Before joining Yuan Associates, Mr. Yuan worked as a public communication supervisor to several multinational enterprises, including BMW and Amway. Prior to working in the public relations sector, Mr. Yuan started his career as a reporter for China Construction Machinery magazine, during which time he interviewed over 40 presidents of multinational companies. 

     Mr. Yuan holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Beijing International Studies University.


    Zhang Jing joined Yuan Associates in 2007. As aGeneral Manager, Ms. Zhang has a wealth of knowledge working with state-ownedbusinesses and with government agencies. While at Yuan Associates, she hasworked as a government affairs consultant with a number of multinationalclients in retail, agriculture, food and beverage industries, as well as an Americanstate organization.

    Ms. Zhang was formerly a business consultantwith Garvey Schubert Barer (GSB), a U.S. law firm based in Beijing. Before joining GSB, she served as First Secretary of the Economic andCommercial Counselor’s Office at the Chinese Embassy to the U.S. in WashingtonD.C.  Her work there included providing business consulting and tradepromotion for both Chinese and American companies involved in China-U.S. trade.

    Ms. Zhang also has significant experience inimport and export business as she worked in the China National Native Produceand Animal By-Products Import and Export Corporation (China Tuhsu) for 12 yearsin a variety of positions.  She served as a senior executive of varioussubsidiaries of China Tuhsu including the Deputy General Manager of the ChinaTea Import and Export Corporation, the General Manager at the China TuhsuFlavor and Fragrance Import and Export Corporation, and the President of Sunry(Singapore) International.

    Ms. Zhang holds a BA in Economics from theUniversity of International Business and Economics, Beijing, and did businessmanagement post-graduate work at the University of Toronto, Canada.  Shespeaks fluent English.

    Michael Byrnes is a Senior Advisor in ourgovernment relations practice.

    Mr. Byrnes has more than two decades of direct experience in China. He was mostrecently the China President for Tyco International China, where he wasresponsible for establishing Tyco’s corporate presence in China and promotingTyco’s diverse business interests in the growing China market. Tyco is thelargest American company in China with 32,000 employees and more than 40operational units. 

    Before joining Tyco, Mr. Byrnes worked at Rockwell Automation as Vice Presidentfor China Operations. In this role he reported directly to the President andCOO of Rockwell Automation and was responsible for all of Rockwell Automationoperations in China. While at Rockwell, Mr. Byrnes implemented a comprehensivegovernment relations plan at the national, provincial and municipal levels thatfocused on enhancing influence, administrative and organizational facilitationand regulatory monitoring and shaping. Mr. Byrnes was also directly involved inestablishing Rockwell’s R&D center, several manufacturing facilities, alogistics center and the International Procurement Office in Shanghai.

    Before working at Rockwell, Mr. Byrnes served 30 years as an officer in theUnited States Army, rising to Major General. His experience in Asia includedworking as a military attaché to the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong and culminatedas the U.S. Defense Attaché at both the U.S. Embassy in Beijing andUlaanbaatar.

    Mr. Byrnes holds a Master of Arts degree in strategy and operations from theNavy War College, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Asianstudies/international relations from the University of New Hampshire. 

    Mr. Byrnes speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese.

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