According to the old saying that ‘only China’s interests are eternal and permanent’, Yang Jiechi is the honest face of the foreign policy that President Xi Jinping has desired for the past 10 years, which centered on the complex and turbulent relationship with the United States. Yang, 71, works at the Foreign Ministry in Rome at the moment dealing with the Americans, and is a high-ranking diplomat in China, backed by the support of Xi who in 2017 wanted him among 25 members of the Politburo, the Politburo of the Communist Party Central Committee.
Rewarded for loyalty and skill shown at the conclusion of ascending from all levels of diplomacy to the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs (2007-13), State Counsellor, and eventually Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Communist Party of China, the current position making it the pinnacle of all diplomatic affairs of the People’s Republic: with great expansion Its sphere of influence is also on issues of China’s commitment against climate change and Taiwan, an island that Beijing claims as an inalienable part of its territory to reunite even with the use of force, if necessary.
Yang is in a higher position than Foreign Minister Wang Yi: both are members of the State Council, but Yang in the one-party institutional arrangements has the first and last word on the strategic lines of diplomacy. His role as mediator in difficult relations with the United States has consistently emerged in the past few years of turbulent bilateral relations, especially in the past year with his direct participation in talks with his American counterparts. He was, for example, the natural interlocutor of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when there were messages to be passed on to Xi himself.
Born in Shanghai, Yang is a veteran of relations with the United States. In the eighties he was among the officials of the Chinese embassy in the United States, which was officially opened in 1979 after the start of diplomatic relations, and then again in the nineties, when he returned to Washington as deputy ambassador. Yang was also Deng Xiaoping’s interpreter, as evidenced by a photo of him with then-President George H.W. Bush, in February 1989, a few weeks after his inauguration in the White House.
In fact, Bush Sr. is said to have been nicknamed “The Tiger” for his decisive and assertive negotiating skills. As was done in Alaska in March 2021 by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. An example is his stubbornness in preparing files.
In his meeting at the end of 2017 with the then Foreign Ministry Angelino Alfano in Zhongnanhai, the headquarters of the Chinese leadership, Yang expressed his “appreciation for the Sino-Italian cooperation.” Subsequently, some of the participants in the meeting expressed their astonishment at the topics covered “down to the smallest detail”.
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