His first appearance gave him a clearly magical origin, but he was later retconned as a mutant.
Jade Dragon's parents where rounded up during the Cultural Revolution and placed into a camp where they died. Dei worked in the camp mine where the Geomancer awoke his ability to transform into his dragon from. Escaping the Mines Dei hid as he had no wish to defect from China. When the Chinese political system was reformed he enlisted in the army.
During a mission via some Monks Dei rebelled against his Commanders orders to kill the non-violent monks at a Temple. Puck, formally of Alpha Flight was there undergoing a spiritual quest and the High Lama created a portal to the other Alpha Flight members who where in battle against the Dream Queen. The fight spilled over into the Temple Courtyard and Jade Dragon helped the Canadians battle the villain before he and Alpha Flight where transported to Canada.
Although he refused to defect the Chinese authorities believed he had and sent China Force to get him back. The Chinese Heroes drugged and kidnapped Dei but under the Dream Queens influence took him to Edmonton rather than China. Another battle with Alpha Flight took place during which the Dream Queen was defeated. Dei went back to China to prove he had not defected.
Dei was later seen (and retconned as a mutant) working with a group called 3-Peace to promote Chinese mutant rights along with the Collective Man and Nuwa (X-Force Annual #3, 1994), however the government had cracked down on mutants so the group had allied itself with the Mutant Liberation Front and Reignfire which led the government to send China Force after them again. Reignfire killed China Forces' leader and betrayed 3-Peace but the group made their escape.
It is unknown if Dei retained his powers after M-Day.