Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese proverb' might not be real

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

Ahead of her father's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, Ivanka Trump has tweeted out an important piece of wisdom from an ancient Chinese sage: "Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it".

In China, where Twitter is blocked, screenshots of Ivanka's saying circulated on the social media site Weibo.

Actual Chinese netizens debated the possible Chinese source, if any, of Trump's tweet. "Fake" Chinese proverb Ivanka where did u get this???", one user wrote, while another added: "This is not a real Chinese proverb but it's nice to know you can use google for fake quotes".

"The daughter of the USA president tweeted on Monday: "'Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' - Chinese Proverb".

Her tweet came on the eve of the day when her father, Donald Trump, met the North Korean leader at Capella Hotel in Singapore's Sentosa Island to hold talks, in a bid to resolve the decades-long nuclear stand-off between the two countries. Some said it could have been "Don't give advice while watching others playing a chess game". 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.

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

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

Only catch? Chinese Twitter users couldn't recognise the "proverb" as one of their own. Since then, the quote has gone through a number of variations and attributions. It was molded over the years to its current form, the quote-focused website found, at one point being attributed to Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.

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.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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