The Chinese news agency says a herbalist doctor has begun an attempt to break the world record for fasting, set by the American magician David Blaine last year.
The doctor, Chen Jianmin, who is from the south-west Szechuan province, intends to go without food for 49 days.
He says he wants to promote traditional Chinese medical practice.
Mr Chen, who is 50, is living in a specially-built room half way up a mountain resort in Yaan City.
His fast is being monitored by a medical team.
In October, David Blaine spent 44 days without food, in a glass box suspended above the River Thames in London.
From the Newsroom of the BBC World Service