The Internet-savvy health chief of Gansu province has kicked up a storm once again by claiming that dozens of ordinary medical workers had mastered a martial arts technique that is traditionally believed to make them all-powerful.
In a post on Sina Weibo, Liu Weizhong said that by correctly breathing and directing their body energy, known as qigong, the workers had - to use a martial arts phrase - "opened their governor and conception vessels".
Such a feat in popular Chinese kung fu novels generally makes the hero invincible.
The post on Wednesday said that 41 of the 47 trainees, all local medical workers, had succeeded in performing the technique and that most of them felt energetic afterwards, with previous conditions alleviated or even cured.
The 54-year-old health official has more than one million followers on Sina Weibo.
Yet Chinese netizens soon fought back with negative comments.
One online writer going by the name "Da Xia" asked whether Liu was a kung fu master or a health official.
Others wondered why medical workers would be practicing kung fu instead of practicing medicine.
In response, Liu said that the term he used had nothing to do with kung fu, and that the term had been appropriated from traditional Chinese medicine by the writers of popular novels.
"To achieve that by practicing qigong one can get healthier," he said.
Liu has long been promoting knowledge about traditional health and folk remedies through his micro blog, though he was not a major in traditional Chinese medicine.
A previous post from Liu that eating pig's feet can help people recover from cancer surgery earned him the nickname "pig feet chief".
Zhu Lijia, a professor from the Chinese Academy of Governance, said government officials should be careful on the Internet due to their special positions.
"Their words could have unexpected consequences," he said.
Liu said he never treats patients over the micro blog and never advertises particular health products.
"Traditional Chinese medicine is effective and cheap, so I want to let the public know about that," he said.
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