Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where was Ma Ying-jeou born?

Michael Richardson at the Boston Progressive Examiner has posted an image of the birth certificate of Ma Ying-jeou's daughter in an article on Ma's birthplace. He writes:

Republic of China in-exile President Ma Ying-jeou attended Harvard Law School in 1980, the year of his daughter's birth in Boston making her a U.S. citizen. As Ma prepared for the duties of fatherhood, he studied the law of international boundaries, writing a controversial error-filled thesis on the topic.

One international boundary that Ma somehow lost track of was that of his own birth. Ma now claims to have been born July 13, 1950 in the British colony of Hong Kong and moved to Taiwan when he was one year-old.

However, while in Boston, studying international boundary law at Harvard, Ma was maintaining that he was born in mainland China in Shenzhen of Guangdong Province and not in the British


While no one is responsible for the location of their own birth, one's birthplace can indeed change the course of a life. Ma seems to have a floating birthplace. We are left to speculate because Ma has never publicly answered to why, if he was born in Hong Kong, he falsely stated in Massachusetts at the time of his daughter's birth that he was born in Shenzhen, China.


A Taiwanese legislator, Chai Trong-rong, raised the issue recently of the Massachusetts birth certificate charging that, if true, Ma is a full-fledged citizen of the People's Republic of China. The political overtones of Chai's quest for truth overshadowed the importance of the question about the inherent truthfulness and veracity of Ma as a political leader.

During the election, Hsieh also showed US documents showing that Ma was born in Shenzhen. Ma's birthplace would not be an issue, except that Ma himself has made an issue of it, claiming he was conceived in Taiwan and born in Hong Kong. He also famously told Lee Teng-hui that he was a Taiwanese born in Wanhua.

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Carlos said...

I guess the fact that Ma has tried to use his birthplace(s) to his advantage makes it a fair question. Otherwise, it sounds like the group of bitter Americans that keep trying to prove that Obama isn't eligible to be president... there's still a campaign to get him to furnish his birth certificate.

Amy Lin said...

I read in another blog that Shenzheng was not incorporated as a city until much later than 1950.
While you are on this topic, you should see what LA lawyer Max Chiang has to say about his findings on Ma's SSI and credit report.

Maoman said...

Ooh - tell me more about the Wanhua comment to Li Denghui!

Anonymous said...

"I read in another blog that Shenzhen was not incorporated as a city until much later than 1950."

Amy that doesn't make sense without knowing the history of Shenzhen for two reasons:

1) An unincorporated city in China is still not a part of Hong Kong, which was under British control throughout. You can't be "close enough" and feel like your in Hong Kong at the time of Ma's birth--you have to go through British customs to get to Hong Kong from the area that is now Shenzhen.

2) Supposedly, the 9 from his name is also because he was born in Kowloon in Hong Kong, no way that could have been mixed up with Shenzhen.

Anonymous said...

Amy Lin is correct. "Shenzhen" as such didn't exist in 1950. It was (renamed) Bao'an County as of 1913. It was less than a fishing village in 1950.

The city of Shenzhen didn't even exist until 1979. It would be exceedingly bizarre for Ma to list his birthplace as 'Shenzhen'.

Anonymous said...

Anon, but the area that is now Shenzhen was still called Shenzhen even prior to its incorporation...