Water has been primal element in the shaping of cultures, the first sustaining element for life on earth- be it plant, animal or human. From time immemorial, countless myths have evolved around water as the source of life. In the mythological and symbolic world, the regenerative tradition of water has been internalized. All religious traditions have treated water as sacred, with many messages of ecological imbalances embedded in them.
In China, water symbolizes “Yin”阴, the female principle, which is the counterpart of “Yang”阳, the male principle (representing fire and the South). In the old Chinese view of the cosmos, fire and water arose from the same source. The union of Yin and Yang gave birth to the five elements(water, gold, fire, wood and earth), which in turn brought about the "ten thousand things" in the world. Water belongs to ‘night’ and fire belongs to ‘day’. Many Chinese expressions about the intimate relations between man and woman involve the Chinese symbol for water.
In Feminism perspective, the character of water is soft, yielding and pliant, as a (traditional) Chinese woman should be. "Weak overcomes strong, soft overcomes hard" so said Laozi in the Taoist text, Dao De Jing. According to Laozi (also spelled Laotze), water's character is the best example of proper behavior. This behavior allows the "weak" to overcome the "strong" (and hence a woman to overcome a man). People put the words weak and strong in inverted commas because these two opposite states depend on the relative perception of others.
From Chinese opinion, in business and in people’s daily life "soft, pliant and yielding" like water is a wise way to prevent and solve many interpersonal problems. From some people’s view, it is another kind of ‘strong’ in social society.