Thursday, September 22, 2011 | 3:30 PM EDT - 6:00 PM EDT
The National Committee held a luncheon in honor of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on September 22, 2011 in New York City. The event, co-hosted with the US-China Business Council, was timed to coincide with the Foreign Minister’s trip to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly.
Minister Yang addressed the seventy guests in attendance, including many National Committee corporate members, by touching on a wide range of topics, such as the recent decision by U.S. lawmakers to upgrade Taiwan’s jet fleet and U.S.-China cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation. He urged government policies that “adhere to the principle of mutual benefit in China-US business relationship,” and advocated for “deepened economic and financial cooperation [to] promote sustainable growth” in both the United States and China.
The Foreign Minister said that the U.S. and China should work together to seek peaceful solutions to tensions in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula. He also applauded efforts like the 100,000 Strong Initiative, a U.S. State Department program aimed at sending 100,000 American students to study abroad in China, that seek to increase mutual understanding and respect.
The luncheon was held at the Citi Executive Conference Center and was partially underwritten by Citi and The Coca-Cola Company.
Yang Jiechi was appointed minister of foreign affairs in the spring of 2007. He is also a member of the 17th Chinese Communist Party (CPC) Central Committee.
Born in May 1950 in Shanghai, Minister Yang has a Ph.D. in history from Nanjing University. He has also studied at Bath University and the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom.
Minister Yang has had a long career in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), with several postings at the PRC Embassy in the United States. Yang joined MOFA in 1975 as second secretary of the Department of Translation and Interpretation. He went to the Embassy in Washington, DC, for the first time in 1983, serving successively as second secretary, first secretary, and counselor until his return to China in 1987. During the next three years he was counselor and division director at MOFA’s Translation and Interpretation Department. In 1990, Yang became deputy director general at the Department of North American and Oceanic Affairs, a position he held until 1993 when he returned to Washington to serve for the next two years as deputy chief of mission at the PRC Embassy.
He returned to China in 1995 and was promoted to assistant foreign minister and then promoted again in 1998 to vice foreign minister. In 2001, he became ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the United States, a position he held for the next four years. He resumed his duties as vice foreign minister in China in 2005.
Minister Yang is fluent in English. He and his wife Le Aimei are the parents of one daughter.