Michelle Obama Brings Goodwill (And The First Daughters) To China On Diplomatic Trip

March 21, 2014  |  

Michelle Obama has touched down in China on a diplomatic three-city trip that will focus on youth empowerment and education with speaking engagements at schools planned for her weeklong stay. It’s the third trip that the First Lady has taken without the President. Instead, she’ll be traveling with the “First Lady” of China, Peng Liyuan.

FLOTUS’ arrival is front-page news in China, with readers pouring over details like the cost of the First Lady’s hotel room ($8,400 per night for the Presidential Suite at the Westin located near the US Embassy).

Michelle Obama is visiting with Sasha, Malia and her mom Marian Shields Robinson. On her first day, she played ping pong — “not so good,” she said — tried to write in Chinese calligraphy and walked through the Forbidden City.

USA Today quotes Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for communications: “Her agenda sends a message that the relationship between the United States and China is not just between leaders, it’s a relationship between peoples.” That means there will be no talk of human rights and other hot button issues. But the fact that the First Lady is traveling with her daughters and mother — three generations — will appeal to Chinese sensibilities.

“This weekend, Obama will give a speech on education at Peking University, visit the Great Wall outside Beijing, then travel Monday to the central Chinese city of Xi’an, and its famed terracotta warriors. The family hits Chengdu, in the southwest, on Tuesday and Wednesday,” USAT continues.

President Obama will meet with China’s  President Xi Jinping next week at The Hague for the Nuclear Security Summit. At that time, more controversial topics will be taken up.

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