Yang Baibing, a veteran revolutionary and strong proponent of economic liberalisation, has died. He was 92.
Along with his more famous half-brother, former Chinese president Yang Shangkun, Yang was once among the most powerful leaders in China. However, he was forced into retirement in 1992 and his supporters were purged from the officer corps by former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, who feared the Yang brothers were accumulating too much power.
Yang joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1938 and battled both Japanese invaders and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists before the communists took power in 1949.
A powerful backer of the bloody crackdown on 1989 pro-democracy protests centred on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Yang later stood by Deng in his struggle against conservatives opposed to further economic reforms.