Ma Ying-jeou mä yēng-jō [key], 1950–, Taiwanese political leader, president of Taiwan (2008–16), b. Hong Kong, grad. National Taiwan Univ. (LL.B., 1972), New York Univ. (LL.M., 1976), and Harvard Law School (S.J.D., 1981). Ma worked briefly on Wall Street and upon his return to Taiwan taught law at National Chengchi Univ. (1981–98). He also served in a number of government capacities, notably as justice minister in the mid-1990s, before becoming mayor of Taipei (1998–2006). A member of the Kuomintang (KMT), he was the party's deputy secretary-general (1984–88), vice chairman (2003–5) and chairman (2005–7). He stepped down in 2007 following charges of diverting government funds into his personal account. Cleared, he became chairman again in 2009. An advocate of closer ties with China, Ma was elected president of Taiwan in 2008 and reelected in 2012. He resigned as party leader again after KMT losses in the 2014 local elections. In 2015 he became the first Taiwanese president to meet with his Chinese counterpart.
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