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After graduating from Fudan University in 1987, he worked in the Foreign Affairs Department in Beijing. From 1992 to 1997, he worked in Hong Kong as the manager of a mainland Chinese company. He then went to the U.S. as a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council. He is now an Australian citizen, and divides his time between Sydney and Guangzhou, China with his wife and two sons. He also holds PRC passport.
His novel, Fatal Weakness, is the first in his spy trilogy using himself as a role model. It is the story of a U.S.-China double agent who ultimately works for neither side but instead serves his own personal agenda. It is only available on his blog and is written only in Chinese. There are no other translations available.
On 20 March 2011, it was alleged Yang disappeared from Guangzhou airport after phoning a friend to report that three men were following him. Commentators imagined that he has been detained as a result of government crackdown on activists, lawyers and bloggers following calls for a 'Jasmine' revolution in China since February 2011. He later contacted his family in Australia saying his disappearance was all a "misunderstanding" and "I've been sick, nothing else, and my phone battery was dead for two days so I could not contact my family. I'm very sorry about stirring up so much trouble in both countries." 
He wrote about many approaches made by secret service agents of various Western powers to recruit him and other writers as a spy and to write anti-China articles in order to demonise Chinese people and to "sell his soul to the devil". He said he found such approaches despicable and he was warned not to talk about or publish such approaches. He used such experience to write his novels.
During the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay and ensuing protests, Yang called for Chinese students in Australia to show restraints, and warned that overt Chinese nationalism might create racial tensions between Asians and white Australians.
- Page, Jeremy, "Australian Novelist Disappears in China," The Wall Street Journal, 29 March 2011, accessed 29 March 2011 from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703461504576230602034508400.html?mod=WSJ_hp_editorsPicks_2
- Wong, Edward (2 April 2011). "Australia Inquires About a Writer Missing in China". Sydney Morning Herald.
- John Garnaut and Maya Li (19 April 2008). "Chinese writer's call for restraint unleashes firestorm". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
- Yang's Twitter account
- Collection of blog articles, some in English
- Yang's blog posts translated on China Digital Times
- (Chinese)q:zh:楊恆均 Quotations of Yang Hengjun
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