Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese proverb' tweet mystifies China

A tweet posted to Ivanka Trump's Twitter account

Ivanka Trump lit up social media on Monday after tweeting a piece of wisdom she attributed as an ancient Chinese saying: "Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it".

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.

The daughter of the United States president used a Chinese proverb to extend support, saying, "Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it- Chinese Proverb".

In China, as Trump's tweet was shared and reposted, many natives were baffled, calling the workforce development aid out for her "fake proverb". While the Chinese crowd absolutely ridiculed the idea of Ivanka's saying belonging to their culture, one user suggested that it originated in the USA itself.

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

"The foolish old man removed mountains", "a true gentleman should keep silent while watching a chess game" and "if you can do it, do it; if you can't, shut up", were some of the common sayings suggested by people.

"Some said, 'maybe Ivanka saw it on a fortune cookie, ' which despite the name isn't of Chinese origin either".

Meanwhile, author John Blaydes attributed the quote directly to George Bernard Shaw via his book "The Educator's Book of Quotes".

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

The tweet stumped Chinese social media users who were unable to identify it.

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

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

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

According to the BBC, the tweet is not Ivanka Trump's first apparent misattribution to Chinese lore.

Ivanka and her family enjoy a huge fan following in China. In 2013, she posted to Twitter the quote, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life". She hired a Chinese-speaking nanny to tutor her daughter, Arabella.

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