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

Pic Reuters

Pic ReutersBEIJING

Donald Trump's daughter tweeted the pearl of wisdom just hours before the USA president met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, in Singapore.

The daughter of the U.S. 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". By 1962, it had been put behind the words "Confucius say" by another periodical. However, users on China's largest Twitter-like microblogging site, Weibo, took to the social media platform to point out that such a proverb didn't actually exist in their language.

The blog Quote Investigator has found that the saying first emerged in a 1903 Chicago magazine in reference to innovation during that time.

Professor of Chinese at Calvin College in Michigan, Larry Herzberg, told The New York Times the tweet was "yet one more example of Americans ascribing a quote to the Chinese, often to Confucius, when they don't really know the origin of the saying".

The widely shared tweet, which came ahead of the scheduled meeting between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, was an apparent shade thrown at her father's critics.

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".

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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. "Please help!", read a post by news channel Sina, which is Weibo's parent company, as per news agency AFP.

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".

'She saw it in a fortune cookie at Panda Express, ' one user wrote.

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

"Why are Trump WH aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?"

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