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Ma Bufang
马步芳 19031975
Ma Bufang.jpg
Ma Bufang
Allegiance Flag of the Republic of China Republic of China
Rank general
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Ma.

Ma Bufang (simplified Chinese: 马步芳traditional Chinese: 馬步芳pinyin: Mǎ Bùfāng; Wade-Giles, Ma Pufang; 1903–1975), was a prominent Ma clique warlord in China during the Republic of China era, ruling the northwestern province of Qinghai.



Ma Bufang and his older brother Ma Buqing (1901–1977) were born in Monigou Township (漠泥沟乡)[1] in what is today Linxia County, some 35 km west of Linxia City. Their father Ma Qi (馬麒) formed the Ninghai Army in Qinghai in 1915, and received civilian and military posts from the Beiyang Government in Beijing in that same year confirming his military and civilian authority in Qinghai.

Ma Bufang sided with Feng Yuxiang's Guominjun until the Central Plains War, when he switched to the winning side of Chiang Kai-shek. Ma Qi died in 1931 and his power was assumed by his brother Ma Lin (馬麟), who was appointed governor of Qinghai.

In 1936, under the order of Chiang Kai-shek, with the help of Ma Zhongying's remnant force in Gansu and Ma Hongkui's and Ma Hongbin's force from Ningxia, Ma Bufang and his brother Ma Buqing (1901–1977) played an important role in annihilating Zhang Guotao's 21,800 strong force that crossed the Yellow River in an attempt to expand the Communist base. Later on Ma Bufang rose with the help of Kuomintang involvement and forced his uncle Ma Lin to concede his position, in 1937. That was when Ma Bufang actually became governor of Qinghai, with military and civilian powers, and stayed ruler until the Communist victory in 1949. During Ma Bufang's rise to power, along with his brother Ma Buqing and cousins Ma Hongkui and Ma Hongbin, they were instrumental in helping another cousin of theirs, Ma Zhongying to prevail in Gansu, because they did not want Ma Zhongying to compete with them on their own turf, so they encouraged and supported Ma Zhongying to develop his own power base in other regions such as Gansu and Xinjiang.

In August 1949, the Chinese Communist People's Liberation Army PLA, led by General Peng Dehuai, defeated Ma's army and occupied Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu. Ma fled to Chongqing then Hong Kong. In October, Chiang Kai-shek urged him to return to the Northwest to resist the PLA, but he fled to Saudi Arabia with more than 200 relatives and subordinates, in the name of hajj.

In 1950, Ma moved to Egypt. In 1957, after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Egypt and the People's Republic of China, Ma was transferred by Taipei to serve as the ROC's ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Ma served in this post for four years, during which period he never returned to Taiwan. In 1961, owing to a scandal surrounding Ma's having forced his niece to become his concubine, Ma was removed from his post as ROC ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Ma, to avoid punishment by the ROC government, chose to seek Saudi citizenship. He remained in Saudi Arabia until his death in 1975. Although Ma Bufang had numerous concubines, he only had one son, Ma Jiyuan (马继援), who became a divisional commander in Ma Bufang's army.


  • ? General Officer Commanding 9th New Division
  • ? General Officer Commanding II New Corps
  • 1938 - 1949 Military-Governor of Qinghai Province
  • 1938 - 1941 General Officer Commanding LXXXII Corps
  • 1943 - 1945 Commander in Chief 40th Army Group

See also


  1. ^ "临夏旅游" (Linxia Tourism), published by Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture Tourist Board, 2003. 146 pages. No ISBN. Pages 68-69.

External links



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