Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese proverb' tweet mystifies China

After President Donald Trump's landmark sit-down with notorious recluse North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss easing tensions between the two nations, the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, chose to take to Twitter to share a quote she attributed to the situation that she claimed to be of Chinese origin, but in actuality is not. As the discussion grew, some pointed to other popular sayings in China, such as "If you can do it, do it; if you can't, shut up".

First daughter Ivanka Trump was accused of crimes against philosophy on Tuesday, after she posted a "Chinese proverb" that is not actually Chinese.

Ivanka is idolized by many people in China, where she is referred to by the Chinese characters 伊万卡 - pronounced "Yi Wan Ka" - and even described as a "goddess".

One user wrote: "It makes sense, but I still don't know which proverb it is".

According to the BBC, one Weibo user wrote, "Don't give advice while watching others playing a chess game".

According to the New York Times, one website suggested the saying originated in America itself and has been attributed to George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright.

'Our editor really can't think of exactly which proverb this is.

On Weibo, several people offered Chinese proverb suggestions that might convey something similar, without arriving at an agreement.

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

It's not the first time Ivanka has mistakenly attributed a saying to Chinese lore.

Some internet users mocked Ivanka for her tweet.

And in March, a photo of Ms Trump donning a lab coat during a visit to a science centre was also mercilessly panned on social media, while in the same month clients threatened to boycott a salon which styled her hair before an event after the owner shared a snap of herself with the President's daughter at the hairdressers' salon.

In 2013 she posted on Twitter: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life".

But, Ivanka's quote quickly became an object of ridicule by critics in the United States for Mr. Trump and his presidency.

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