Christine Chow Ma
|Christine Chow Ma
|First Lady of the Republic of China|
20 May 2008
|Preceded by||Wu Shu-chen|
|Born||30 November 1952 (age 61)
British Hong Kong
|Nationality||Republic of China|
|Alma mater||National Chengchi University
New York University (LL.M.)
Christine Chow Ma (Christine Chow Mei-ching) (Chinese: 周美青; pinyin: Zhōu Měiqīng; Wade–Giles: Chou Mei-ching; born November 30, 1952, in Hong Kong with family roots in Nanjing, Jiangsu) is the current First Lady of the Republic of China. She is the wife of Ma Ying-Jeou, the current President of the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan).
Chow was born in Hong Kong in 1952. She graduated from Taipei First Girls' High School and received her bachelor of laws degree from National Chengchi University and a master of laws (LL.M.) degree from New York University Law School.
Chow was a high-school classmate of Ma Ying-jeou's sister. Chow and Ma married in New York. She worked as a research assistant, assistant librarian, and even maître d’hôtel at a Chinese restaurant to support her husband through Harvard Law School. They have two daughters, Lesley (Ma Wei-chung, 馬唯中) and Kelly (Ma Yuan-chung, 馬元中). Lesley was born in 1980 in New York when Ma was attending Harvard; she completed her undergraduate work at Harvard University and is a graduate student at New York University. The younger daughter, Kelly, was born in Taiwan and is pursuing her undergraduate studies at Brown University in Rhode Island.
Mrs. Ma was employed at the Mega International Commercial Bank in Taiwan in its legal department. After Ma Ying-jeou won the 2008 presidential election, she said she would continue her professional work. At the time, the only change she has made to her lifestyle was taking a chauffeured ride to work instead of public transportation.
In a change of course, President Ma, in a 15 July 2008 CNN interview, stated that his wife will resign her post at the bank to avoid any conflicts of interest or arouse suspicions during his presidency. Her resignation marked a major change for the career-oriented First Lady.
Chow is presented as a stark contrast from her predecessor, Chen Shui-bian's first lady, Wu Shu-chen; Chow is known for staying out of the political limelight and has rarely joined officials' wives at social or official functions. Chow has stated that she will not fulfill "traditional" first lady responsibilities (no former first ladies held an active occupation); she has, however, said that she will fill in on meeting and greeting dignitaries if she has the time.
- (Chinese)Both Ma Ying-jeou and Chow Mei-ching were born in Hong Kong, DWNEWS, March 26, 2008.
- (Chinese)率真周美青 人氣勁升, Wen Wei Po, March 24, 2008.
- Discipline First for Taiwan’s New Leader, The New York Times, March 24, 2008.
- Next first lady may keep her Mega job
- Shih Hsiu-chuan "Hsieh's promptings force Ma onto back foot over green card", Taipei Times, Jan 29, 2008.
- 馬唯中 & 馬元中: A Look at the First Daughters (Pictures)
- Post-Election 2008: Ma's wife determined to carry on as bank lawyer, Taipei Times, Mar 26, 2008.
- Taiwan's prospective first lady sets example, International Herald Tribune, Apr 2, 2008.
- Taiwan's next first lady to mark shift in style, AFP, Apr 2, 2008.
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