Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese proverb' tweet mystifies China

Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese proverb' tweet mystifies China

Taking to the social media platform ahead of the historic summit between her father, US President Donald Trump, and rogue North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this week, Ms Trump tweeted: "Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it", attributing the meaningful words to a Chinese proverb.

Pinning the tweet to the top of her page, she wrote: 'Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' - Chinese Proverb'.

Confucius says Ivanka Trump made a proverbial social media gaffe.

Countless Twitter users claimed the proverb was not Chinese, while a number of experts told The Independent there was no evidence the proverb had originated in China.

Instagram  IvankaTrumpIvanka's father had been attending a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
Instagram IvankaTrumpIvanka's father had been attending a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

The widely shared tweet, which came ahead of the scheduled meeting between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, was an apparent shade thrown at her father's critics.

Weibo users who agreed it wasn't a Chinese proverb tried to guess what saying she may have been trying to reference.

Ivanka Trump has become the butt of jokes yet again after being accused of sharing a "fake Chinese proverb" on Twitter.

Quote Investigator, an internet website that looks at the origin of quotations, says the expression might have evolved from a comment in a periodical based in Chicago, Illinois, at the turn of the 20th century.

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Another said: "It makes sense, but I still don't know which proverb it is".

The official account of Weibo's owner, the tech firm Sina, also was puzzled.

'Our editor really can't think of exactly which proverb this is. She hired a Chinese-speaking nanny to tutor her daughter, Arabella.

"And Twitter users in the know were quick to point out the misattribution".

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Bill Kristol, editor of the US political magazine the Weekly Standard, tweeted a guess that the phrase "seems in fact to be American from the turn of the 20th c. - which makes sense, since its spirit is can-do Americanism". In 2013, she tweeted: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life", a quote she attributed to Confucius.

However, he added: 'But why are Trump WH (White House) aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?.

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