Te-chien Tung studied at Peking and was graduated from I Hsioh Kuan (Translations Institute). Then he went to France and attended the Paris Ecole de Sciences Politiques, graduating from section diplomatique.
Te-chien Tung joined the Kuomintang in 1911. He served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Peking, China in 1912, was chief of general affairs of the Chinese Legation at Lisbon, Portugal in 1913. Then Te-chien Tung was promoted attache of the same Legation in 1918, 3rd class secretary of the Chinese Legation in Brazil in 1919, Chinese delegate to the Pan-American Conference held at Rio de Janeiro, International Cotton Trade Conference and International Medical Conference in 1922, 3rd class secretary of the Chinese Legation at Madrid, Spain in 1924-1925, promoted 2nd class secretary of the Chinese Legation at Lisbon, Portugal in 1926 and twice acted as charge d'Affaires of the Legation in 1927.
After that Te-chien Tung returned to China to join the revolutionary movement in 1927 and was appointed chief of the 1st section (political affairs) of the 1st Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chief of the European and American Affairs Section of the Political Commission for the War Zone in 1928 and also acting director of the Foreign Affairs Department for the Commission.
Te-chien Tung was also appointed Charge d'Affaires of China at Vienna, Austria in 1928. In 1929, he also concurrently acted as a Chinese expert to the Armament Limitation Conference at Geneva and Chinese, deputy delegate to the Assembly of the League of Nations in 1929-1934, Chinese delegate to the International Conference on film education 1931 at Vienna and Chinese delegate to the International Conference on executive law at Vienna in 1933, elected research fellow of the graduate school of the Academie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris, France in 1931.
Te-chien Tung was an author of "Suggestions of a Foreign Policy for China", "Lectures on the History of China's Unequal Treaties" (in Chinese), "The Origin of the Pre-Columbian American Races", "A Study of the League of Nations" and "A Criticism of the Scheme of a United States of Europe" (in French), many declarations, interviews, articles and speeches on the Japanese invasion of the four Chinese North-Eastern Provinces and other diplomatic questions of the world.