Yang Jiechi

Yang Jiechi (Chinese: 杨洁篪; born 1 May 1950) is a high-ranking Chinese politician and diplomat. Since 2013, he has served as a Politburo member and director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party under Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. He is generally regarded as one of the foremost contemporary architects of China's foreign policy. Yang served as the tenth Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China between 2007 and 2013. He joined the inner circle of the State Council in 2013, as a State Councilor under Premier Li Keqiang. Yang spent much of his professional life in the United States, where he served as Chinese Ambassador from 2001 to 2005.

Yang Jiechi
Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office
Assumed office
August 2013
General SecretaryXi Jinping
Preceded byDai Bingguo
State Councilor of the People's Republic of China
In office
16 March 2013 – 19 March 2018
PremierLi Keqiang
10th Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China
In office
27 April 2007 – 16 March 2013
PremierWen Jiabao
DeputyZhang Zhijun
Preceded byLi Zhaoxing
Succeeded byWang Yi
Personal details
Born (1950-05-01) 1 May 1950 (age 70)
Shanghai, China
Political partyChinese Communist Party
Spouse(s)Le Aimei[citation needed]
Alma materUniversity of Bath
London School of Economics
Nanjing University
Nickname(s)Tiger Yang
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese杨洁篪
Traditional Chinese楊潔篪

Early life and educationEdit

Yang was born in Shanghai on 1 May 1950.[1] He graduated from Shanghai Foreign Language School and attended the University of Bath and the London School of Economics from 1973 to 1975. He received a PhD in history from Nanjing University.[1]


He previously served as a diplomat in the United States, beginning as a Second Secretary in 1983 and later as Ambassador from 2001 to 2005, and as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs responsible for Latin America and Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. During the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, Yang accompanied Wan Li, the chairman of the National People's Congress, on a trip to North America.[2]

During his tenure as ambassador to the United States, Yang worked to ease the tensions between the two countries following the 2001 mid-air collision between a U.S. EP-3 spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet off the coast of Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

Yang Jiechi and the President of Brazil, Lula da Silva

In April 2007, Yang replaced Li Zhaoxing, who had served as China's foreign minister since 2003, as the tenth foreign minister of China.

In July 2010 at the ASEAN Ministers Conference in Hanoi, Yang, responding to remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, called the remarks "an attack on China" and told Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo that "China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that's just a fact."[3] However, Yang issued a statement on the Foreign Ministry's Web site saying that there was no need to internationalize the issue, that China was still intent on solving all of the disputes bilaterally.[4]

In a meeting with Australia's foreign minister Bob Carr, Yang criticized the decision to put US Marines in Australia's Northern Territory by stating to Carr "Cold War alliances" were out of date, to which Carr "reminded Yang that Chinese leaders like to relate the story of the Ming dynasty admiral Zheng He who took powerful Chinese fleets as far afield as India and Arabia but sought to occupy no lands".[5]

Jiechi during the MSC 2019

In 2013, Yang Jiechi met with Japan's new ambassador to China and leader of Japan's New Komeito party. Yang also held group meetings with ambassadors from EU and its member states. He also met with Moo-sung Kim, Special envoy of South Korea's president-elect Park Geun-hye, to strengthen ties with South Korea. Yang has also made pledges for more contribution to world peace.[1]

At the first plenary session of the 12th National People's Congress in March 2013, Yang Jiechi was elected as State Councilor.[6]

Yang was a member of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. He was also a member of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and an alternate member of the 16th Central Committee.[1] He was elevated to the decision making Politburo at the 19th CPC Congress in October 2017.

In 2019 Yang was described as "the most senior Chinese official to attend [the] Munich Security Conference since it began in 1963."[7] He gave a keynote address.[8]


Yang Jiechi received an honorary degree from the Geneva School of Diplomacy in 2009.[9] It was announced by the President of Pakistan on 14 August 2012 that Hilal-i-Pakistan (Crescent of Pakistan) would be given to Yang Jiechi on 23 March 2013.[10]


George H. W. Bush said Yang Jiechi's other name is "Tiger Yang", because Yang Jiechi was born in 1950, the year of the Tiger according to the Chinese zodiac, and because his name, "Chi" () contains a variant of "Hu" (虎, Tiger).[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Biography of Yang Jiechi". China Vitae. March 19, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  2. ^ "Partially Declassified White House Memorandum" of May 23, 1989
  3. ^ Michael Pompeo (July 13, 2020). "U.S. Position on Maritime Claims in the South China Sea". State Department. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "U.S. takes a tougher tone with China". The Washington Post. July 30, 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  5. ^ "China throws book, but Carr parries with chapter and verse". The Sydney Morning Herald. May 22, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  6. ^ NPC endorses new cabinet lineup
  7. ^ Bloomberg News, "It's Yang versus Pence as US and China set to Rumble in Europe"
  8. ^ Philippine Star, "Full text of Yang Jiechi's keynote speech at the 55th Munich Security Conference"
  9. ^ "Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Expounds on China's Foreign Policy at the Geneva School of the Diplomacy and International Relations". China. August 12, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  10. ^ "President confers civil awards on Pakistani citizens and foreign nationals". The News. August 15, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  11. ^ 杨洁篪出使美国与中美关系,联合早报

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Dai Bingguo
Secretary-general of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission
March 2013-
Secretary-general of the Central Leading Group for Taiwan Affairs
March 2013-
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Li Zhaoxing
Chinese Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Zhou Wenzhong
Government offices
Preceded by
Li Zhaoxing
Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China
Succeeded by
Wang Yi