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

Postado Junho 13, 2018

As US President Donald Trump prepared for his landmark meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Singapore, his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump tweeted a rather thoughtful and timely "Chinese proverb" on Monday, signifying the value of perseverance.

She wrote on Monday: "Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it", attributing the phrase simply as "Chinese Proverb". A pseudo-Confucian version was fabricated in 1962 - perhaps explaining why Ms Trump believed it was a Chinese proverb.

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

Some Weibo users suggested she might have mixed up the translation of the proverb, "A true gentleman should keep silent while watching a chess game", according to the New York Times.

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.

They also offered some snarky commentary, including one person who said, "Don't mistake something as a Chinese proverb simply because it's written in Chinese characters".

As first daughter and a senior adviser to her father, Ivanka has frequently emphasised her connection to China and Chinese culture.

The official account of Weibo's owner, the tech firm Sina, also was puzzled.

"[My editor] really can't think of what exactly this proverb is".

"And Twitter users in the know were quick to point out the misattribution".

"She saw it in a fortune cookie at Panda Express", one user joked.

Michael Li wrote, "For the record, this is not a Chinese proverb but a piece of "mysterious East" wisdom made up by Westerners".

Bill Kristol, editor of the United States 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. In 2013, she tweeted: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life", a quote she attributed to Confucius.