Yang Guozhong

Yang Guozhong (traditional Chinese: 楊國忠; simplified Chinese: 杨国忠; pinyin: Yáng Guózhōng; Wade–Giles: Yang Kuochung) (died July 15, 756), né Yang Zhao (楊釗), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor late in the reign of Emperor Xuanzong. His second cousin Consort Yang Yuhuan was then Emperor Xuanzong's favorite concubine, and it was through his relations with her that he managed to be initially noticed by Xuanzong.

Yang was a gambler and a wastrel, but keen with the political scene. In 752, Xuanzong appointed him chancellor succeeding Li Linfu owing to his skills in managing finances. He proved to be disastrously incompetent as chancellor, incurring the wrath of many, but remained one of Xuanzong's most trusted officials.

His conflict with An Lushan, also a favorite official of Emperor Xuanzong's, eventually drove An into rebellion (known historically as the Anshi Rebellion, with his new state known as Yan). He then permitted the latter to capture the imperial capital Chang'an by forcing Geshu Han, a general who was holding a favorable defensive position at the Tong Pass, to confront the rebel troops. As expected, the Tang forces were completely routed by the Yan army commanded by Cui Qianyou (崔乾祐). Emperor Xuanzong was forced to flee, and while in flight, Yang Guozhong, Consort Yang, and many of the Yang family were killed by the angry soldiers escorting Emperor Xuanzong because the army attributed the chaos to them.

Read more about Yang GuozhongBackground, Rise To Power, As Chancellor

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