He fought against the foreign Eight Nation Alliance in the Boxer Rebellion with his nephew Ma Biao serving under him, besieged the Catholic Xishiku Cathedral and the legations, and defeated the Alliance at Battle of Langfang, and died of exhaustion while he and the Kansu Braves were escorting the Imperial family to safety. His son Ma Qi took over his posts.
^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.