Huh? China stumped by Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese proverb'

Esequiel Farfan
Junio 13, 2018

Chinese social media users are scratching their heads over a "Chinese proverb" U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka posted to Twitter as her father prepared for his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

The daughter of the United States 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".

Confucius says Ivanka Trump made a proverbial social media gaffe. Please help!' the news channel for Sina - the company behind Weibo, China's largest Twitter-like platform - wrote on its official 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.

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.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump shake hands in Singapore. Actually, the saying has been occasionally ascribed to the famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, though there's no evidence of him ever having used it.

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

As you would expect, Twitter users have jumped at the chance to mock the 36-year-old mother-of-three, with Chinese literature scholar Brendan O'Kane tweeting: "You can call any old sh*t a Chinese proverb on the internet".

Ivanka Trump urged on her father's meeting at Singapore by tweeting an inspirational nugget she described as a Chinese proverb - but nobody in China has a clue what she's talking about.

"Maybe she saw it in a Panda Express fortune cookie", one person joked. It seems in fact to be American from the turn of the 20th c. -which makes sense, since its spirit is can-do Americanism.

She also wrongly attributed a quote to Albert Einstein in July previous year, writing: "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts". "But why are Trump WH aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?"

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