Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese proverb' might not be real

Brunilde Fioravanti
Giugno 13, 2018

As US President Donald Trump prepared for his landmark meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Singapore, his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump tweeted a rather thoughtful and timely "Chinese proverb" on Monday, signifying the value of perseverance. -Chinese Proverb " Ivanka wrote in a tweet on Monday.

Confucius says Ivanka Trump made a proverbial social media gaffe.

But users of social media in China, were unable to identify the saying, according to the AFP news agency.

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 criticism was more muted, with many people appearing more interested in helpfully trying to guess which actual Chinese idiom she might have meant to use.

President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim on Tuesday in a luxury hotel on a resort island in Singapore, in a summit unimaginable just months ago.

Only catch? Chinese Twitter users couldn't recognise the "proverb" as one of their own. Actually, the saying has been occasionally ascribed to the famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, though there's no evidence of him ever having used it. "Please help!" the news account of Sina, the company that operates popular microblogging platform Weibo, posted.

"[My editor] really can't think of what exactly this proverb is".

As you would expect, Twitter users have jumped at the chance to mock the 36-year-old mother-of-three, with Chinese literature scholar Brendan O'Kane tweeting: "You can call any old sh*t a Chinese proverb on the internet".

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

She hired a Chinese-speaking nanny to tutor her daughter.

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". She then falsely attributed that saying to the Chinese philosopher Confucius.

"Why are Trump WH aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?"

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