Ivanka Trump Tweets a ‘Chinese Proverb,’ Only It’s Not Actually Chinese

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

"'Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' - Chinese Proverb", the first daughter wrote in a tweet that quickly went viral for apparently being fake.

Others, however, think this popular saying in China could be what Ivanka was referring to: "If you can do it, do it; if you can't, shut up".

Her tweet came on the eve of the day when her father, Donald Trump, met the North Korean leader at Capella Hotel in Singapore's Sentosa Island to hold talks, in a bid to resolve the decades-long nuclear stand-off between the two countries.

However, profound or not, the proverb left people in China puzzled as no one had seemed to have heard of it.

But it was reportedly panned on China's social network, Weibo, and may have actually been an early 20th-century saying.

In thousands of comments on Weibo, users made different suggestions, but without arriving at a conclusion.

Some suggested the proverb "the foolish old man removed mountains" - a common phrase used to signify perseverance. The 36-year-old identified the quote as a "Chinese Proverb", prompting China's online users to collectively scratch their heads.

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In 1962, another periodical, Adult Leadership, printed the quote using the familiar and politically incorrect joke setup "Confucius say..."

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

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".

"One proverb from Ivanka has exhausted the brain cells of all Chinese internet users", a commenter admitted.

Bill Kristol, editor of United States 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?.

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