Date of birth unknown; died Sept. 2, 1856, in Nanking. One of the leaders of the Taiping rebellion in China.
The son of a farm laborer, Yang was a firewood dealer. In March 1851 he became the chief military commander of the Taipings. In 1853, after the rebels had seized Nanking, he assumed the leadership of the Taiping state. Using a plan devised by Yang, the Taipings routed a large force of Ch’ing government troops at Nanking in the summer of 1856. In the struggle that unfolded in 1856 between the leaders of the Taipings, a conspiracy was organized by Wei Ch’ang Hui that resulted in Yang’s death.