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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

Feng shui carried too far

By Zhang Zhilong (Global Times)

08:46, January 20, 2012

The town of Tekesi in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is laid out in a "Bagua" design, the eight important elements that influence a person's life. (Photo: CFP)

Most people familiar with feng shui, which literally means wind and water, understand it as a fairly quaint belief in some mysterious workings of the universe.

Where it is caught on in other countries, people might consider some feng shui principles when decorating their apartment or aligning their doors and windows and even toilets in an auspiciously correct manner when designing a new home.

In China, the 6,500-year-old art of divining a mutually beneficial symbiosis between humans and the environment is still used by some to try to influence their fate, their health and even their careers.

Taken to this level, the strongly held system of beliefs becomes cultish superstition that has pushed local government officials to do the oddest things.

Hu Jianxue, the former Party secretary of the tourism city Tai'an, Shandong Province, at the foot of the famous Tai-shan Mountain, was told by his feng shui master that he would soon be appointed a vice-premier of the country. The only problem the master said cryptically was that Hu lacked a "bridge."

Hu somehow got it into his head that he literally needed to build a bridge and he ordered it done. He changed the route of a national highway so it would pass a reservoir and would require a bridge be built.

Hu must have thought this was a master stroke at unblocking his feng shui, but it got him nowhere close to his coveted vice premiership. His feng shui master apparently failed to warn him about the essential need of being an honest politician. Hu was later convicted of taking huge bribes and was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.

Hu is not at all alone in spending taxpayers' money to fulfill the requirements of fortune-tellers masquerading as feng shui masters.

In a poor county in Gansu Province officials spent 5 million yuan ($791,695) in September 2010 to move a 369-ton rock nine kilometers to the county square to block bad luck from entering the town and prevent good luck escaping from the community. Some reports put the cost of the project as high as 11 million yuan.

In early 2007, a side of Laoshou Mountain, located in Fumin county of Yunnan Province, was found to have been painted green, and several reports suggested it was to enhance the feng shui and the view from an office building of the Party committee.

Similar examples have been documented around the country and the pattern seems the same. Incompetent and opportunistic officials hoping to improve their fate, heed the orders of so-called feng shui masters.

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Canada at 2012-01-2070.36.49.*
Atheism needs to remain a principle of the Party and a requirement for Party membership.

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