Provenance of Ivanka's 'proverb' baffles Chinese internet users

Ivanka's tweet using Chinese proverb to hail Trump Kim meet stumps Chinese

The tweet in question was posted just ahead of President Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Please help!' the news channel for Sina - the company behind Weibo, China's largest Twitter-like platform - wrote on its official account.

Actual Chinese netizens debated the possible Chinese source, if any, of Trump's tweet.

Many pointed towards a classic Chinese idiom: "A true gentleman should keep silent while watching a chess game".

Ivanka Trump lit up social media on Monday after tweeting a piece of wisdom she attributed as an ancient Chinese saying: "Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it".

On Twitter itself, several users panned her for writing a "fake" Chinese proverb and called her out for the quote.

It's not the first time Ivanka Trump has given China credit for an adage.

She also wrongly attributed a quote to Albert Einstein in July a year ago, writing: "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts".

Ms Trump has frequently touted her connection to China and its culture.

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".

"It sounds more legitimate and credible to pronounce a quote coming from the ancient civilisation of China".

The internet is awash in misattributed phrases and it can be hard to discern which phrases have a true connection to China's 5000-year-old culture. In fact, no one quite knows where it comes from, and it is often attributed to Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, but there is no evidence supporting that either.

According to Global Times, the saying appears specifically in an edition of The Public magazine from March 7, 1903.

In the United States, with its highly charged political atmosphere, the tweet drew more open mockery.

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



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