Ivanka Trump Mocked After Quoting 'Chinese Proverb' That Isn't Chinese

Blanche Robertson
June 13, 2018

The president's elder daughter fired off a celebratory message hours ahead of his historic summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Social media users offered similar quotes by Chinese President Xi Jinping - known for trumpeting the value of "practical work" over "empty talk" - while also suggesting fake sayings by famous Chinese author Lu Xun. Some said it could have been "Don't give advice while watching others playing a chess game".

The daughter of the USA president used a Chinese proverb to extend support, saying, "Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it- Chinese Proverb".

"One proverb from Ivanka has exhausted the brain cells of all Chinese internet users", another wrote on Weibo. She has cultivated a loyal following among young Chinese women, many of whom admire her success in starting a fashion brand and see her as a symbol of elegance.

This is not Ms Trump's first apparent misattribution to Chinese lore.

She also wrongly attributed a quote to Albert Einstein in July past year, writing: "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts".

Trump says he will halt Korea war games
Yun said he was "quite surprised" at the lack of a more specific commitment on denuclearization from the North Korean side. The two released the statement shortly after Trump's historic meeting with the North Korean leader concluded.

Eventually, the Global Times actually sourced the quote to a 1903 news article, declaring that "the phrase quoted by Ivanka has actually no relation to China".

"It sounds more legitimate and credible to pronounce a quote coming from the ancient civilization of China", he added. In fact, no one quite knows where it comes from, and it is often attributed to Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, but there is no evidence supporting that either.

The website QuoteInvestigator.com, run by Garson O'Toole, found in 2015 that it may have originated in the United States in the early 1900s as a way of commenting on the innovation of the era.

In the U.S., with its highly charged political atmosphere, the tweet drew more open mockery.

"But why are Trump WH (White House) aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?" he quipped.

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