Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Ivanka Trump accused of tweeting 'fake' Chinese proverb


Users of Chinese microblogging website Weibo were left scratching their heads.

The tweet was posted hours before her father, President Donald Trump, held historic talks with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.

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

"The foolish old man removed mountains", "a true gentleman should keep silent while watching a chess game" and "if you can do it, do it; if you can't, shut up", were some of the common sayings suggested by people.

Rather than impressed by the tweet, however, users on China's social media sites were puzzled at whether this was a Chinese saying at all.

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"'Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' - Chinese Proverb", the first daughter wrote in a tweet that quickly went viral for apparently being fake. 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.

Ivanka Trump has suffered another embarrassing mishap on Twitter after sharing an apparently fake "Chinese proverb".

'Our editor really can't think of exactly which proverb this is.

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

A pseudo-Confucian version was fabricated in 1962 - perhaps explaining why Ms Trump believed it was a Chinese proverb.

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Bill Kristol, editor of the USA 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".

'But why are Trump WH (White House) aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?' he quipped. Since then, the quote has gone through a number of variations and attributions.

Some internet users mocked Ivanka for her tweet.

Twitterati also targeted the president's senior adviser for her misfire. She has hired a Chinese speaking nanny to raise and help coach her daughter in the language, as well as amassing a fan base of young Chinese women who are fans of her success in life and as a fashion designer.

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