If you believe magic happens only in fairy tales and on movie screens, you’re in for quite a surprise.
Apparently, magic also happens in China.
Two Chinese officials have been removed from their posts because of their alleged participation in “superstitious activities”. They have been accused of casting spells in order to get promotions and attending geomancy courses that they claimed were business trips, state media said on Friday, quoting disciplinary authorities.
The ruling Communist Party doesn’t allow its members to practice any kind of religion in the officially atheist state of China, and the government is especially unforgiving to its officials who have any contact with what the government considers are superstitious folk beliefs. Tang Yuansong, a former head of the housing and construction bureau of Linwu County in the central province of Hunan, attended five Feng Shui training courses under the pretense of “investigation tours”, starting in 2008, said Xinhua news agency.
Each training session cost 54,000 yuan ($8,038), which Tang claimed back as business expenses, Xinhua said, citing the statement from the office of the local anti-corruption supervisory body. Tang also earned 5,000 yuan a year for practicing Feng Shui for other people, the statement adds. The other person who was fired with him, also a former county official, had “asked others to set up an altar to cast spells and paid 100,000 yuan in tribute each time, with hopes of being promoted”, Xinhua said.
Both Tang and Huang Xiaowen, former head of Tuqiao Township of Rucheng County, have been ejected from the party and will be placed under an official investigation for suspected criminal acts, such as corruption and embezzlement, it added.
Either of the officials didn’t comment on the situation so it was left unclear whether they have been allowed to keep their lawyers or not.x
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