|General Ma Shaowu|
|Tao-yin of Kashgar|
|Preceded by||Ma Fuxing|
|Political party||Xinjiang clique, Kuomintang|
|Spouse(s)||Single unknown wife|
|Religion||Sufi Jahriyya Islam|
|Allegiance||Qing dynasty Republic of China|
|Years of service||1912-1937|
|Commands||Military commander at Kucha and Tao-yin of Kashgar|
|Battles/wars||Kirghiz rebellion, Kumul Uprising, Battle of Kashgar (1933), Battle of Kashgar (1934)|
Ma Yuanzhang wrote a couplet in honour of Ma Shaowu that emphasises the role of tombbuilder for which he was best known within the Jahriyya order. The couplet was written on the occasion of the death anniversary of Ma Mingxin’s wife in whose honour the most important of the tombs was built, on the 1st of the first lunar month, 1918; the first line of the couplet makes a play on the middle character shao 绍 of Ma Shaowu 马绍武。 The founding ancestor refers to Ma Mingxin, while the ‘departed sage’ probably refers to Ma Yuanzhang’s father Ma Shenglin. The word translated here as ‘worthy descendant’ is also a lineage term for fourth generation direct descendant, for Ma Shaowu was a fourth generation direct descendant of Ma Mingxin.
Couplet written in Honor of Ma Shaowu by Ma Yuanzhang
Ten thousand li to pay his respects at the isolated tomb and satisfy the wish of the founding ancestor,
Those that satisfy the wishes of their ancestors are truly filial.
In the home province he built up the embankment in honour of the departed sage,
Not only by showing respect for the departed but in his countenance he is a true worthy descendant.
Official in Xinjiang
He became a military commander in the Qing dynasty army, and in that of the Republic of China. He served as a mandarin official. During Yang Zengxin's reign in Xinjiang, Ma was appointed military commander of Kucha, and then Daotai of Kashgar. His authority extended over all of southern Xinjiang, and he commanded several hundred Hui and Han Chinese soldiers. Brigadier General Yang and Colonel Chin served under him. He was loyal to the Chinese government, and a Muslim.
Ma enforced anti Soviet measures and preserved Chinese sovereignty in Xinjiang, when the Soviet Union tried to encroach on Chinese territory. He jailed a Uighur called Akbar Ali, who was employed by the Soviet consulate, for setting off a Uighur riot. The Uighurs were suppressed by 400 Hui troops.
When Ma Zhongying invaded the province in 1932, Ma Shaowu, himself a Hui Muslim, commanded predominantly Han Chinese troops against the anti provincial Uighur and Hui forces. He steadily lost control over southern Xinjiang, despite Jin Shuren appointing him as commander in Chief of all Chinese forces in the area, and was panicking, Ma Shaowu sent Han Chinese troops to Khotan and Maral Bashi to fight against the anti provincial forces, he withdrew Chinese troops from Sarikol to Kashgar to reinforce the garrison, and raised levies of Kirghiz.
Ma faced an army of Uighurs and Hui from Gansu under the command of Timur Beg and Ma Zhancang, when Ma Zhancang defected to Ma Shaowu after conducting negotiations, and shot and beheaded Timur Beg. Ma Shaowu commanded a Han Chinese garrison, his subordinates included Brigadier General Yang and Colonel Chin. Then all of the Hui Muslim and Han Chinese gathered together and holed up in the yamen, while the Turkic Muslims, the Kirghiz and Uighurs besieged them. At the Battle of Kashgar (1933) the Turkic armies were defeated. During this time Ma Shaowu resigned as Tao-yin of Kashgar. When the independence of the First East Turkestan Republic was declared, the following year, at the Battle of Kashgar (1934) Ma Zhancang and Ma Fuyuan destroyed the Turkic army, massacring over 2,000 Uighurs and attacking the British consulate. Ma Fuyuan and Ma Zhancang then reinstated Ma Shaowu as Tao-yin of Kashgar. In 1934, Ma Shaowu was seriously injured in an assassination attempt ordered by Sheng Shicai. Ma was sent to the Soviet Union for treatment, and recovered but on crutches.
He was walking with his son and wife when the assassination attempt happened. The child was unhurt, the wife slightly wounded, and even though Ma was shot in the legs, he dragged himself into a maize] field. He got home on a donkey, a doctor was summoned, and by the end of summer he was convalescing. Nobody was apprehended by the police for the attack. Two of his fingers were lost.
Ma was interviewed by the traveler Peter Fleming in 1936, shortly after the assassination attempt. Peter also visited the site of assassination where bloodstains were present. He wore a long beige silk robe, had a spittoon and spoke in precise Peking speech. His son's name was Cho-ya. He was then sent to Moscow in the Soviet Union to complete medical treatment. He did not give direct answers, replying through a translator that "I lost my post when, as a result of the troubles, China lost her authority in Kashgar", referring to when he had to resign as taotai. After being sent to Moscow by train, he returned to Ürümqi in 1936. In 1937, during the Xinjiang War (1937), Ma Shaowu was accused by the Soviet puppet Sheng Shicai of being part of a "Fascist-Trotskyite" network, including Khoja Niyas Hajji, Ma Hushan, along with other totally ridiculous claims, which Sheng Shicai used as an excuse to conduct his own purge in Xinjiang along with Joseph Stalin's Great Purge.
Ma Shaowu’s son and daughter-in-law currently reside in Ürümchi, and his son stated that in 2006 that a biography of Ma Shaowu was currently being compiled in Kashgar.
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