Ivanka Trump has been mocked by social media users in China after she shared a Chinese proverb that didn’t turn out to be Chinese.
The President’s daughter and advisor posted the proverb on Twitter as her father geared up for the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Pinning the tweet to the top of her page, she wrote: ‘Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.’ – Chinese Proverb.’
“Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.” -Chinese Proverb
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 11, 2018
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Clearly alluding to President Trump’s critics, Ivanka may have thought she was being quite profound with her choice of quote.
However, profound or not, the proverb left people in China puzzled as no one had seemed to have heard of it.
The news channel for Sina, the company behind China’s largest Twitter-like platform Weibo, wrote on their account: ‘Our editor really can’t think of exactly which proverb this is. Please help!’
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Weibo users quickly piled in to mock the President’ daughter.
One person wrote: ‘She saw it in a fortune cookie at Panda Express,’ while another added: ‘It makes sense, but I still don’t know which proverb it is.’
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Thousands of people replied, also trying to work out where the proverb came from or what it alluded to.
Many suggestions pointed towards the proverb ‘the foolish old man removed mountains’, that signifies perseverance – but no one could come to a definitive answer.
That’s not a real Chinese proverb genius.
— lisa (@lisadonne2) June 12, 2018
“Don’t just hand over trademarks for nothing.” – Chinese Proverb
— Mike Selhorn (@selhorn) June 12, 2018
Even you have to use a Chinese proverb? I thought your father was only for MAGA buy American hire American? Where is the made in USA proverb?
— TruckerinDataScience (@MontrealIndian) June 12, 2018
Three minutes of googling suggests this is a fake Chinese Proverb. It 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 aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit? https://t.co/bqjbZhXlQr
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 11, 2018
Bill Kristol, editor of US political magazine The Weekly Standard, tweeted that the phrase ‘seems in fact to be American from the turn of the 20th century’.
However, he added: ‘But why are Trump WH (White House) aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?.