Thursday, 16 August, 2018


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

Pic Reuters Pic ReutersBEIJING
Hannah Rogers | 13 June, 2018, 11:08

"'Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' -Chinese Proverb", Ivanka posted on her Twitter account.

Internet users are saying Ivanka Trump would be wise to double check online quotes after she shared an apparently fake "Chinese proverb".

People in China began tweeting other sayings they thought Ivanka might have meant to use.

But digital sleuths in the United States and China said there is no evidence such a pearl of wisdom originated in China.

The president's elder daughter fired off a celebratory message hours ahead of his historic summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Countless Twitter users claimed the proverb was not Chinese, while a number of experts told The Independent there was no evidence the proverb had originated in China.

"Things move along so rapidly nowadays that people saying: 'It can't be done, ' are always being interrupted by somebody doing it", according to an article in the mag, the New York Times reported.

Suggestions included, "A true gentleman should keep silent while watching a chess game", while another said "If you can do it, do it; if you can't, shut up".

"Actually Western people like to make up Chinese proverbs, like us, as we Chinese people also make up lots of those", said a diplomatic user on Weibo.

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

Others took the opportunity to create their own "Chinese proverb", while some accused her of spreading "fake news".

But some weren't as helpful, with one asking Ivanka if she found her quote via a fortune cookie.

It's not the first time Ivanka Trump has given China credit for an adage. In 2013, for example, she posted on Twitter, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life", attributing the phrase to Confucius.

"It sounds more legitimate and credible to pronounce a quote coming from the ancient civilization of China", said Herzberg, who with his wife, Xue Qin, has written a book on Chinese proverbs.

Quote Investigator, an internet website that looks at the origin of quotations, says the expression might have evolved from a comment in a periodical based in Chicago, Illinois, at the turn of the 20th century.

"But why are Trump WH (White House) aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?" he quipped.

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