Chen Xuanli formerly served as a low officer guard in the palace and helped Li Longji launch a successful coup, deposing Empress Dowager Wei in 710. After Li Longji took the throne as Emperor Xuanzong, Chen Xuanli was appointed commander of the Imperial Guard and became a trusted confidant of the emperor. In 755, Chen Xuanli escorted Emperor Xuanzong and Yang Guifei as they fled from Tang's capital, Chang'an, during the Anshi Rebellion. Chen Xuanli succumbed to illness in 762, the same year as Xuanzong's death.
During the execution of Yang Guifei, Chen secretly plotted with Gao Lishi to bring another woman to replace Yang. As Chen was in charge of examining Yang's body, he managed to facilitate her escape to Shankou County, Japan.
- Book of Tang, vol. 184.
- New Book of Tang, vol. 208.
- "The Riddle of the Death of Concubine Yang Yuhuan" http://firstname.lastname@example.org