Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou officially assumed office as chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang party (KMT) in Taiwan at the 17th KMT Party Congress.
Born in Hong Kong in July 1950 to parents from Hunan Province on the Chinese mainland, Ma graduated from the Department of Law in Taiwan University, and then got a master's degree of law in New York University and a doctor's degree of law in Harvard.
He used to be the English interpreter for Chiang Ching-kuo, the late KMT leader.
Ma was vice secretary-general of the KMT Central Committee between 1984 and 1988, and assumed a number of administrative posts.
He was elected Taipei Mayor in December 1998 and re-elected in 2002.
In March 2003, Ma was elected vice chairman of the KMT.
In a direct election on July 16, 2005, Ma defeated Wang Jyn-pyng, also vice-chairman of the KMT, by winning 72.36 percent of the votes, to take over from Lien Chan as the new KMT chairman.