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China is Baffled by Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese Proverb' Tweet

China is Baffled by Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese Proverb' Tweet”

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.

"'Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' -Chinese Proverb", Ivanka posted on Monday, the night before her father and Kim came together to seek an end to a tense decadesold nuclear stand-off.

President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday in Singapore.

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.

"'This not even remotely an actual Chinese proverb.' - Chinese Proverb", angryasianman tweeted.

On social media site Weibo, some quoted similar sayings that are popular in China, such as: " Don't give advice while watching others playing a chess game".

"Did you get that from a fortune cookie?" another netizen asked.

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

In 2015, the Quote Investigator found that the saying also was published in a 1962 periodical with the words "Confucius say" - a popular format for jokes about proverbs not actually attributable to the Chinese philosopher, according to The Hill.

Larry Herzberg, a professor of Chinese at Calvin College in MI, said Ivanka's 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".

"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.

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.

According to Global Times, the saying appears specifically in an edition of The Public magazine from March 7, 1903. "But why are Trump WH aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?"



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