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Ma Qi (simplified Chinese: 马麒; traditional Chinese: 馬麒; pinyin: Mǎ Qí; Wade–Giles: Ma Ch'i, Xiao'erjing: ﻣَﺎ چِ‎; 23 September 1869 – 5 August 1931) was a Chinese Muslim warlord in early 20th-century China.

Ma Qi
Ma Qi.jpg
Ma Qi
Military Governor of Qinghai
In office
Oct 1915 – Dec 1928
Preceded byLian Xing (Lien Hsing)
Succeeded bySun Lianzhong (as Chairman)
Chairman of the Government of Qinghai
In office
Sep 1929 – May 1931
Preceded bySun Lianzhong (Sun Lien-chung)
Succeeded byMa Lin (warlord)
Personal details
Born(1869-09-23)23 September 1869
Linxia County, Gansu, Qing China
Died5 August 1931(1931-08-05) (aged 61)
Xining, Qinghai, Republic of China
Political partyKuomintang
ChildrenMa Bufang
Ma Buqing
Military service
Allegiance Qing Empire
 Republic of China
Years of service1890s–1931
UnitNinghai Army
CommandsGeneral of Xining
Battles/warsBoxer Rebellion, Bai Lang Rebellion, Kuomintang Pacification of Qinghai


Early lifeEdit

A Hui, Ma was born on 23 September 1869 in Daohe, now part of Linxia, Gansu, China. His father was Ma Haiyan and his brother was Ma Lin. He was a senior commander in the Qinghai-Gansu region during the late Qing dynasty. Ma Sala was said to be his father.[1] Ma Qi led loyalist Muslim troops to crush Muslim rebels during the Dungan Revolt (1895).[2]

During the Boxer Rebellion Ma Qi served with his father Ma Haiyan in Gen. Dong Fuxiang's Kansu Braves against the invading Eight Nation Alliance in Beijing. Ma Haiyan defeated the foreign army at the Battle of Langfang in 1900, and died while protecting the Imperial Family from the western forces.[3] Ma Qi succeeded him in all his posts and capacities. Ma Qi was 6 feet (183 cm) tall and maintained the mintuan militia in Xining as his personal army, called the Ninghaijun.[2] He also directly defied his commanding officer, Muslim Gen. Ma Anliang, when Ma Wanfu, the Muslim brotherhood leader, was being shipped to Gansu from Xinjiang by Yang Zengxin to Ma Anliang, so Ma Anliang could execute Ma Wanfu. Ma Qi rescued Ma Wanfu by attacking the escort and brought him to Qinghai. Ma Anliang hated the Muslim brotherhood, which he banned earlier, and sentenced all its members to death and wanted to personally execute Ma Wanfu because he was its leader.

During the Xinhai Revolution, Ma Qi easily defeated Gelaohui revolutionaries in Ningxia, sending their heads rolling, but when the Emperor abdicated Ma Qi declared support for the Republic of China.[4][5] Unlike the Mongols and Tibetans, the Muslims refused to secede from the Republic, and Ma Qi quickly used his diplomatic and military powers to make the Tibetan and Mongol nobles recognize the Republic of China government as their overlord, and sent a message to President Yuan Shikai reaffirming that Qinghai was securely in the Republic. He replaced "Long, Long, Long, Live the reigning Emperor", with "Long live the Republic of China" on inscriptions.[6]

Ma Qi developed relations with Wu Peifu, who tried to turn Gansu military leaders against Feng Yuxiang. Feng's subordinate Liu Yufen expelled all the Han generals who opposed him, which resulted in Hui Generals Ma Hongbin, Ma Lin, Ma Tingxiang, and Han Gen. Bei Jianzhang, the commander of a Hui army, to stop fighting against Feng and seek an agreement.[7]

Republican timesEdit

In 1913 a Qinghai wool and hide bureau was established by Ma Qi. It put an export tax on the wool trade with foreigners.[8]

In 1917 Ma Anliang ordered his younger brother Ma Guoliang to suppress a rebellion of Tibetans in Xunhua who rebelled because of taxes Ma Anliang imposed on them. Ma Anliang did not report it to the central government in Beijing and was reprimanded for it, and Ma Qi was sent by the government to investigate the case and suppress the rebellion.[9]

Ma Qi formed the Ninghai Army in Qinghai in 1915. He occupied Labrang monastery in 1917, the first time non-Tibetans had seized it.[10]

After ethnic rioting between Muslims and Tibetans broke out in 1918, Ma Qi defeated the Tibetans. He heavily taxed the town for eight years. In 1921 he and his Muslim army decisively crushed the Tibetan monks of Labrang monastery when they tried to oppose him.[11] In 1925 a Tibetan rebellion broke out, with thousands of rebels driving out the Muslims. Ma Qi responded with 3,000 Chinese Muslim troops, who retook Labrang and machine-gunned thousands of Tibetan monks as they tried to flee.[12][13] Ma Qi besieged Labrang numerous times and the Tibetans and Mongols fought against his Muslim forces for control of Labrang, until he gave it up in 1927.[14]

Ma Qi defeated the Tibetan forces with his Muslim troops.[15] His forces were praised by foreigners who traveled through Qinghai for their fighting abilities.[16]

After the founding of the Republic he was governor of Qinghai from 1915–28 and the first chairman of the government of Qinghai from 1929-31.[17] After Chiang Kai-shek gained control nationwide, he became a brigade commander and then was promoted to commander of the 26th Division of the National Revolutionary Army in the northwestern region. His civil posts also included director of the Gansu Bureau of Construction. Ma Qi's eldest son was Ma Buqing and another son was Ma Bufang.[18] Ma Qi was the uncle of Ma Zhongying. He died on 5 August 1931 in Xining, Qinghai, China.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Lipman, Jonathan N. (July 1984). "Ethnicity and Politics in Republican China: The Ma Family Warlords of Gansu". Sage Publications, Inc. p. 298. JSTOR 189017. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Jonathan Neaman Lipman (2004). Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China. Seattle: University of Washington Press. pp. 182, 183. ISBN 0-295-97644-6. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  5. ^ Travels Of A Consular Officer In North-West China. CUP Archive. p. 188. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  6. ^ Uradyn Erden Bulag (2002). Dilemmas The Mongols at China's edge: history and the politics of national unity. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 43. ISBN 0-7425-1144-8. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  7. ^ Lipman, Jonathan N. (July 1984). "Ethnicity and Politics in Republican China: The Ma Family Warlords of Gansu". Sage Publications, Inc. p. 308. JSTOR 189017. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. ^ Millward, James A. "The Chinese Border Wool Trade of 1880-1937": 30. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  9. ^ 赵颂尧,马安良其人与民初的甘肃政争,西北民族大学学报(哲学社会科学版) 1989年第02期
  10. ^ Charlene E. Makley (2007). The Violence of :iberation: Gender and Tibetan Buddhist Revival in Post-Mao China. University of California Press. p. 73. ISBN 0-520-25059-1. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  11. ^ Wulsin, Frederick Roelker; Fletcher, Joseph (1979). Alonso, Mary Ellen (ed.). China's Inner Asian Frontier: Photographs of the Wulsin Expedition to Northwest China in 1923: from the archives of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, and the National Geographic Society (illustrated ed.). Peabody Museum. p. 43. ISBN 0674119681. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  12. ^ James Tyson; Ann Tyson (1995). Chinese Awakenings: Life Stories from the Unofficial China. Westview Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-8133-2473-4. Retrieved 28 June 2010.(Note, the google book link has gone haywire, but you should still be directed to page 123 when you go to the link, where you should see the paragraph the reference is from)
  13. ^ Paul Kocot Nietupski (1999). Labrang: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery at the Crossroads of Four Civilizations. Snow Lion Publications. p. 87. ISBN 1-55939-090-5. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  14. ^ Paul Kocot Nietupski (1999). Labrang: a Tibetan Buddhist monastery at the crossroads of four civilizations. Snow Lion Publications. p. 90. ISBN 1-55939-090-5. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  15. ^ University of Cambridge. Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit (2002). Inner Asia, Volume 4, Issues 1-2. The White Horse Press for the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit at the University of Cambridge. p. 204. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  16. ^ Frederick Roelker Wulsin; Joseph Fletcher (1979). Mary Ellen Alonso (ed.). China's inner Asian frontier: photographs of the Wulsin expedition to northwest China in 1923 : from the archives of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, and the National Geographic Society. Peabody Museum. p. 43. ISBN 0-674-11968-1.
  17. ^ Paul Allatson; Jo McCormack (2008). Exile cultures, misplaced identities. Rodopi. p. 65. ISBN 90-420-2406-2. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  18. ^ 甘、寧、青三馬家族世系簡表
  19. ^ 中国社会科学院近代史研究所 (2005). 民国人物传 第12卷. Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 7-101-02993-0.

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