Ivanka Trump's tweet of a 'Chinese proverb' leaves Chinese people confused

Lewis Collier
June 13, 2018

She wrote on Monday: "Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it", attributing the phrase simply as "Chinese Proverb".

Internet users are saying Ivanka Trump would be wise to double check online quotes after she shared an apparently fake "Chinese proverb".

But digital sleuths in the U.S. and China said there is no evidence such a pearl of wisdom originated in China.

Ivanka Trump on Monday tweeted a "Chinese proverb" to mark the historic meeting between Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. "Please help!" the news channel for Sina - the company behind Weibo - wrote on its official social media account.

According to the New York Times, Ivanka Trump's tweet also sparked a widespread discussion on Weibo among baffled Chinese netizens who suggested genuine Chinese sayings which might convey a similar meaning to it.

"'This not even remotely an actual Chinese proverb.' - Chinese Proverb", angryasianman tweeted. 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.

It's not the first time she has incorrectly described a quotation as Chinese.

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Immediately, thousands of users began to offer their suggestions as to what proverb the tweet might have been an attempt at quoting, but no one could verify its authenticity.

Ivanka Trump has been mocked after sharing a quote on Twitter.

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

"It sounds more legitimate and credible to pronounce a quote coming from the ancient civilization of China", he added.

The quote Ivanka invoked on Tuesday has also been attributed to non-Chinese sages like George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright.

It may have originated in 1903 in "The Public" - a Chicago-based magazine - and evolved over the years, according to a 2015 article by Quote Investigator.

"Three minutes of googling suggests this is a fake Chinese Proverb. But why are Trump WH aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?"

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