Ma Xinyi
Some attributes
First Name: Ma Xinyi
Second Position: Viceroy of Liangjiang
Third Nationality: Hui
Other attributes
Fourth Allegiance: Qing Dynasty
Fifth Birth: November 3, 1821
Sixth Died: August 22, 1870 (aged 48)

Ma Xinyi (traditional Chinese: 馬新貽; simplified Chinese: 马新贻; pinyin: Mǎ Xīnyí; Wade–Giles: Ma Hsin-I; Styled and variably 穀三 ; Posthumous title: 端敏公 (Duke Duanmin); (born November 3, 1821 – died 26th of 7th month Chinese calendar or August 22, 1870) was an eminent Hui official and a General of the late Qing Dynasty in China.

Early lifeEdit

Born as a native of Heze, Shandong (荷澤) in 1821, he had successfully passed the metropolitan examinations at the age of 26 (1847), a prestigious achievement in China. He had earned the Jinshi degree, the highest level in the civil service examinations, which led to his appointment to the Hanlin Academy, a body of outstanding Chinese literary scholars who performed literary tasks for the imperial court.

Entry into imperial politicsEdit

Along with other prominent figures, including Hu Linyi and Guam Wing, Ma raised the Green Standard Army to fight against the Taiping Rebellion and restore the stability of Qing Dynasty. This set the scene for the era later known as the "Tongzhi Restoration"(同治中兴). His assassination symbolized the serious conflict between the Xiang Army and Green Standard Army, both of which fought for the Qing Dynasty.

Viceroy of LiangjiangEdit

He was later appointed Viceroy of Liangjiang (the provinces of Jiangxi, Anhui, and Jiangsu: 两江总督), fully referred to in Chinese as the Governor-General of the Two Yangtze Provinces and Surrounding Areas Overseeing Military Affairs, Provisions and Funds, Manager of Waterways, Director of Civil Affairs (Chinese: 總督两江等處地方,提督軍務、糧餉、管理河道兼巡撫事), in 1868.


On 1870, Ma Xinyi was assassinated in Nanjing by Zhang Wenxiang with a blade. He died the next day. After several months of fruitless interrogations, Zhang was publicly executed by slow slicing on 15 May 1871, with the government calling him a former pirate angry at Ma's suppression of his fellow robbers.

Zhang, who confessed nothing of his motives, merely said, "Ma Xinyi was neither ren (compassionate) nor yi (righteous)". Some believe the quote indicated a personal relationship, with "not yi" hinting that Ma was a betrayer. One of the most sensational assassinations in Chinese history, the event has since spawn several largely fictitious novels, operas, films and TV series.

Some historians believe the assassination was politically-motivated, possibly backed by none other than Empress Dowager Cixi, the most powerful person in Qing at that time, to limit the power of the Xiang Army. Fictional stories typically characterize Ma and Zhang as 2 of 3 sworn brothers, with Ma, the eldest, gradually corrupted by greed for power and lust for his second sworn brother's wife.