Grateful to http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/symbolism/china_texts.html
Square and Compasses in Chinese traditions
Shu ching (c. 1,000 BCE)
"In 1880 the Master of Ionic Lodge No. 1781, at Amoy, China, speaking on Freemasonry in China said: 'From time immemorial we find the square and compasses used by Chinese writers to symbolize precisely the same phrases of moral conduct as in our system of Freemasonry. The earliest passage known to me which bears upon the subject is to be found in the Book of History embracing the period reaching from the twenty-fourth to the seventh century before Christ. There is an account of a military expedition where we read: 'Ye Officers of government, apply the Compasses!' In another part of the same venerable record a Magistrate is spoken of as: 'A man of the level, or the level man.' The public discourses of Confucius provide us with several Masonic allusions of a more or less definite character. For instance, when recounting his own degrees of moral progress in life, the Master tells us that only at seventy-five years of age could he venture to follow the inclinations of his heart without fear of 'transgressing the limits of the square.'
Short Talk Bulletin, vol. xiii, March, 1935. No. 3. "That Ancient Square."