Ma Xiaotian

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Ma Xiaotian
Ma xiaotian.jpg
Ma Xiaotian at the Pentagon in 2009
11th Commander of the PLA Air Force
In office
October 2012 – August 2017
Preceded byXu Qiliang
Succeeded byDing Laihang
Personal details
BornAugust 1949 (age 69)
Gongyi, Henan, China
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Alma materPLA National Defence University
Military service
Allegiance China
Service/branchAir Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg PLA Air Force
Years of service1965–2017
RankPLAGeneral r.png Air Force General
Ma Xiaotian
Traditional Chinese馬曉天
Simplified Chinese马晓天

Ma Xiaotian (Chinese: 马晓天; born August 1949) is a general who served as Commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) from 2012 to 2017. He also served as Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff and President of the PLA National Defence University.


Born August 1949 in Gongyi, Henan Province, Ma joined the air force in 1965, and learned to fly at the 2nd Preparatory Flight School, before formally entering the 12th Flight School the next year. After his graduation in 1968, he became a military instructor. Ma joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1969, and beginning in 1972 saw a continuous series of promotions. In 1983, he became the deputy headmaster, and was then promoted to headmaster. In 1993, Ma began studies at the PLA National Defence University. After graduating in 1994, he became the head of staff of the 10th division of the Air Force, and was later promoted to head of the division. In March 1997, Ma became the deputy head of staff of the PLA Air Force. The next year, he served as the head of staff of the Air Force of the Guangzhou Military Region. He has also served as the deputy head and the head of the Air Force of the Lanzhou Military Region. In 2001, he became the deputy head and the head of the Air Force of the Nanjing Military Region. In 2003, Ma was promoted to the deputy head of the Air Force. In 2006, he became the President of the PLA National Defence University. In 2007, he was appointed deputy chief of the Joint Staff.[1]

He was a member of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Central Committees of the Communist Party of China. In July 2009 he was promoted to full general.[2]


  1. ^ Lague, David (10 October 2007). "China Promotes Taiwan-Focused Military Officers". New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  2. ^ New Dimensions of Security: General Ma Xiaotian 5 June 2010 International Institute for Strategic Studies