Intro to the Ma Clique


Image: Kuomintang party flag which was used by the Ma Clique

No history of Chinese Muslims in the 20th century is complete without any discussion of the Ma Clique. It was a group of three related families who ruled the Northwestern provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia for almost 40 years before the Communists took over.  The three main Ma leaders Ma Bufang, Ma Hongkui, and Ma Hongbin, are collectively known as the Xibei San Ma (西北三马, Three Mas of the Northwest). All of them were generals in the KMT army and were instrumental in crushing the Uighur rebellions. In general their legacy is mixed and depends upon whom you ask. They are considered heros in Taiwan but many Uyghur consider them to be villians.

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