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 Doctor of Philosophy in history from Nanjing University.
He was 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. In this capacity, he serves as one of the most prominent architects of China"s foreign policy.
Yang spent much of his professional life in the United States, where he served as Chinese Ambassador from 2001 to 2005.
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.
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 United States. European Parliament-3 spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet off the coast of Hainan Island in the South China Sea. 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 Association of Southeast Asian Nations Ministers Conference in Hanoi, Yang, responding to remarks by United States. 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." 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.
In a meeting with Australia"s foreign minister Bob Carr, Yang criticized the decision to put United States Marines in Australia"s Northern Territory by stating to Carr "Cold War alliances" were out of date, to which Carr "reminded Yang that Chinese leaders like to relate the story of the Ming dynasty admiral Zheng He who took powerful Chinese fleets as far afield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". 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 European Union and its member states.
He also met with Moo-sung Kim, Special envoy of South of Korea"s president-elect Park Geun-hye, to strengthen ties with South of Korea.
Yang has also made pledges for more contribution to world peace. At the first plenary session of the 12th National People"s Congress in March 2013, Yang Jiechi was elected as State Councilor.
Honors George H. West. Bush said Yang Jiechi"s other name is "Tiger Yang", because Yang Jiechi was born in 1950 and in the Chinese zodiac, he is the Tiger. Also in his name, "Chi" (篪) contains a variant of "Hu" (虎, Tiger).
Yang became involved in politics in November 1968 and joined the Communist Party of China in September 1969. He became the Deputy cost per click Party Chief of Hailun County in April 1985, and served until April 1986.
Yang is 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.