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

13 June 2018

Ahead of her father's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, Ivanka Trump has tweeted out an important piece of wisdom from an ancient Chinese sage: "Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it".

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", Trump tweeted Monday morning from the Asian island nation, citing it as a Chinese proverb. Her six-year-old daughter, Arabella Kushner, became an online sensation by singing ballads in Mandarin and reciting Chinese poetry in a video that was shown to President Xi Jinping during Donald Trump's visit to Beijing last year.

In China, as the tweet made the rounds, many people were baffled, with some calling it a "fake proverb".

The tweet in question was posted just ahead of President Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Some said it could have been "Don't give advice while watching others playing a chess game".

The quote that Ivanka Trump used is also raising a few eyebrows in and of itself.

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

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

"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts", she wrote, attributing the quote to Einstein, before quickly being informed by other Twitter users that this was not an Einstein quote.

According to the website, a Chicago periodical in 1903 published an article that read in part, "Things move along so rapidly nowadays that people saying: 'It can't be done, ' are always being interrupted by somebody doing it".

However, he added: 'But why are Trump WH (White House) aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?.

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