Yang Baibing
Yang Baibing
Secretary-General of the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party
In office
November 1989 – October 1992
Preceded byYang Shangkun
Succeeded byPosition revoked
Director of the People's Liberation Army General Political Department
In office
November 1987 – October 1992
Preceded byYu Qiuli
Succeeded byYu Yongbo
Political Commissar of the Beijing Military Region
In office
June 1985 – November 1987
Preceded byFu Chongbi [zh]
Succeeded byLiu Zhenhua
Personal details
Yang Shangzheng

(1920-09-09)9 September 1920
Tongnan, Chongqing, China
Died15 January 2013(2013-01-15) (aged 92)
Beijing, China
Political partyChinese Communist Party
RelationsYang Shangkun
Alma materCounter-Japanese Military and Political University
Military service
Allegiance People's Republic of China
Branch/service Eighth Route Army
 People's Liberation Army Ground Force
Years of service1938–1993
Rank General
Battles/warsSecond Sino-Japanese War
Chinese Civil War
Awards Order of Independence and Freedom (3rd Class; 1955)
Order of Liberation (2nd Class; 1955)
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Yang Shangzheng
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese

Yang Baibing (Chinese: 杨白冰; pinyin: Yáng Báibīng; 9 September 1920 – 15 January 2013) was a Chinese military officer. He was a senior general and political commissar in the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the younger half-brother of Yang Shangkun. Together, the two brothers effectively controlled the PLA from the early 1980s until the early 1990s.[1][2][3]


Yang was born as Yang Shangzheng (杨尚正; 楊尚正; Yáng Shàngzhèng) in Tongnan, Chongqing, on 9 September 1920. He became a guerrilla fighter in 1937, after Japan invaded China and joined the Chinese Communist Party in March 1938. He graduated from the Military–Political University, the Central Party School, and the "Northern Shaanxi Public School", which trained security and intelligence officers for the Communist Party's Central Social Affairs Department. Many years later, in 1958, he also graduated from the Higher Political Academy of the PLA.

Yang had a long and eventful military career, serving as both battlefield commander and political commissar. He fought in the Second Sino–Japanese War and subsequently in the Chinese Civil War, which led to the victory of the CCP and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

From 1949 until 1966 and the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution, Yang continuously served in the Southwest, and took part in the invasion and conquest of Tibet in 1950–51, as well as the crushing of the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion. In 1960 he became Deputy Director, and in 1964 Director, of the Political Department of the Chengdu Military Region.

Along with his half-brother Yang Shangkun, Yang Baibing was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, being arrested, imprisoned and expelled from the Party in November 1966. He remained in prison for almost a decade, until he was released in 1975. In 1978, both Yang brothers made their comeback as allies of Deng Xiaoping. Yang Baibing went on to serve as:

Together with his brother Yang Shangkun, Yang Baibing played a leading role in crushing the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests and was a main planner of the actual operations to clear the square and violently suppress all opposition. The PLA 27th Group Army, which arrived from Hebei and killed several hundred protesters, was commanded by his son, Yang Jianhua.

In the early 1990s, Yang was one of many top Chinese officials who pushed for a strategic partnership with Russia, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, despite the fact that just a few years earlier, in the 1980s, the PLA was very active in aiding the Mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Yang himself was very active in coordinating military assistance to the Afghans throughout the 1980s, which eventually included weapons such as heavy machine guns, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft artillery.[4]

After the 14th Party Congress in October 1992, Yang Baibing entered the Politburo, but he was forced to leave the military in 1993 along with his brother Yang Shangkun, who was also forced to step down as President of China and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Committee in the same year. After the 15th Party Congress in September 1997, Yang Baibing officially retired from politics.

Yang died in Beijing on 15 January 2013, at the age of 92. Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli attended his funeral.[5]


  1. ^ Xiaobing Li, ed. (2012). "Yang Shangkun (Yang Shang-kun) (1907-1998)". China at war: an Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 512–514.
  2. ^ "Biography of Yang Baibing". China Vitae. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Gen. Yang Baibing Dies at 93; Led Tiananmen Crackdown". New York Times. 18 January 2013.
  4. ^ Eftimiades, Nicholas (1994). Chinese Intelligence Operations. Annapolis/London: Naval Institute Press/Frank Cass. pp. 17, 99–102.
  5. ^ "Yang Baibing Died" (in Chinese). Xinhuanet. 16 January 2013. Archived from the original on 19 March 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
Military offices Preceded byFu Chongbi [zh] Political Commissar of the Beijing Military Region 1985–1987 Succeeded byLiu Zhenhua Preceded byYu Qiuli Director of the People's Liberation Army General Political Department 1987–1992 Succeeded byYu Yongbo Party political offices Preceded byYang Shangkun Secretary-General of the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party 1989–1992 Succeeded byPosition revoked