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In 1960, he became the vice director of the political department in Chengdu Military Region. He was persecuted in Cultural Revolution, and was imprisoned illegally for a long time. In 1978, he became the vice director of political department in Beijing Military Region. He was promoted to vice political commissar of Beijing Military Region in 1982, and political commissar there in 1985. He was appointed as the director of the General Political Department of PLA in 1987. He was made general in 1988.
Yang died in Beijing on January 15, 2013.
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