Christine Chow Ma

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Christine Chow Ma
Chow Mei-ching
Christine Chow Ma.jpg
First Lady of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 2008 – 20 May 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou
Preceded by Wu Shu-chen
Succeeded by Office vacant
Personal details
Born 30 November 1952 (1952-11-30) (age 65)
British Hong Kong
Nationality Republic of China
Spouse(s) Ma Ying-jeou
Children 2 daughters
Alma mater National Chengchi University
New York University (LL.M.)

Christine Chow Ma (Christine Chow Mei-ching) (Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhōu Měiqīng; Wade–Giles: Chou Mei-ch'ing; born November 30, 1952) is the wife of Ma Ying-Jeou, former President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).


Chow was born in British Hong Kong in 1952, with family roots in Nanjing, Jiangsu province of Mainland China.[1] 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.[2]

Chow was a high-school classmate of Ma Ying-jeou's sister. Chow and Ma married in New York.[3] 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.[4] 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 City when Ma was attending Harvard; she completed her undergraduate work at Harvard University and is a graduate student at New York University.[5][6] The younger daughter, Kelly, was born in Taiwan and is pursuing her undergraduate studies at Brown University in Rhode Island.[5][7]

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.[8] At the time, the only change she has made to her lifestyle was taking a chauffeured ride to work instead of public transportation.[9]

In a change of course, President Ma, in a 15 July 2008 CNN interview, stated that his wife would resign her post at the bank to avoid any conflicts of interest or arouse suspicions during his presidency.[citation needed] Her resignation marked a major change for the careeroriented 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.[10]

See also[edit]