World / Asia-Pacific

Taoist teaches US official one or two things about feng shui

( Updated: 2015-05-19 18:40

Taoist teaches US official one or two things about feng shui

Liang Xingyang, secretary general of the Chang'an District Taoism Association based in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. [Photo/Weibo]

One of the golden rules in life is to stay quiet if you are not sure of something, especially in front of experts. Here's a case in point.

A US official recently made a claim that China's reclamation in the South China Sea violated the feng shui of Southeast Asia.

This obviously did not go down well with actual feng shui masters in China. One of them decided to use his knowledge of the ancient teaching to show why taking on experts, especially in their own backyard, is never a good idea.

Liang Xingyang, secretary general of the Chang'an District Taoism Association based in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, issued a post on the Twitter-like Weibo, to defend China's construction works at Nansha Islands in the South China Sea.

His comments came in response to an statement from Daniel Russel, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

"Reclamation isn't necessarily a violation of international law, but it's certainly violating the harmony, the feng shui, of Southeast Asia, and it's certainly violating China's claim to be a good neighbor and a benign and non-threatening power," Daniel Russel told the Washington Post in an earlier interview.

Feng shui, literally meaning "wind and water", has been widely practiced by Chinese Taoists for thousands of years.

Architects in the ancient time attached great importance to feng shui or geomancy to reach a balance between house and natural surroundings.

But nowadays few Chinese believe in feng shui. Most people liken it to superstition.

That is why most Chinese Internet users were stunned by Daniel Russel's use of feng shui excuse.

"When I first saw the words 'it's certainly violating the harmony, the feng shui...', I thought I was reading the Onion," said a micro blogger called Essentiality of Magic. Onion is an American digital media company and news satire organization.

Taoist Liang did not use his knowledge to deride Russel, but used his feng shui teachings to refute Russel.

In his post dubbed Positive influences China's islands construction brings to the earth's feng shui and the peace of the Solar System, Liang first accused Russel of illegally using the Taoism’s secrets of reading feng shui.

"I suggest China tighten up its export control of feng shui technology to the US to stop it being plagiarized," he said in ridicule.

Then he went on to explain why Russel was wrong and the reclamation in the South China Sea is good for the feng shui in the area and the whole world at large.

The short of land in the South China Sea, which is at the center of Southeast Asia, means there is no strong point in the area and this is bad for the region's stability, Liang said.

He believed that the stability brought by the lands' construction is good for the running of the earth-moon system, which would make it easier for human being to conduct moon landing in the future.

His comments made him an instant online celebrity. The debate over feng shui became a hot topic on Weibo with over 1,000 users commenting on Liang's post.

"Russel's feng shui accusation of China is ridiculous. But it would be better to refute them through such an informal way than an official response," one said.

"It is totally wrong for an American to choose to talk about feng shui with Chinese people," another commented.

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