Published: Wed, June 13, 2018

Ivanka Trump Tweets a ‘Chinese Proverb,’ Only It’s Not Actually Chinese

Ivanka Trump Tweets a ‘Chinese Proverb,’ Only It’s Not Actually Chinese

The problem? Nobody in China even knows what the phrase means, or where it might have come from.

"Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it", she wrote, in an apparent shot at the president's critics.

However, profound or not, the proverb left people in China puzzled as no one had seemed to have heard of it.

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.

"[My editor] really can't think of what exactly this proverb is". Please help!' the news channel for Sina - the company behind Weibo, China's largest Twitter-like platform - wrote on its official account.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, with Ivanka Trump at far left, at dinner at Mar-a-Lago previous year.

Some suggested the proverb "the foolish old man removed mountains" - a common phrase used to signify perseverance. A pseudo-Confucian version was fabricated in 1962 - perhaps explaining why Ms Trump believed it was a Chinese proverb.


"She must have read it in a fortune cookie from Panda Express", a Weibo user wrote.

Unfortunately for Ivanka, the proverb is apparently not Chinese.

But others mocked the first daughter, who once tapped a nanny to teach her daughter to speak Chinese, for seemingly mistaking the slogan for a proverb.

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 found herself the subject of Twitter mockery after misattributing a quote as an old "Chinese proverb".

Bill Kristol, editor of the US 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".

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

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