News / Asia

    Chinese Media Upbeat About US First Lady's Visit

    FILE - U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.
    FILE - U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.
    U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama arrives in China Thursday for a six-day visit, along with her daughters and mother. White House officials say the trip will focus largely on education, cross-cultural ties and empowering youth.

    Before Mrs. Obama's arrival in Beijing, Chinese state-media reports were emphasizing the visit, calling it a sequel to last year's informal get together in Sunnylands, California, between President Barack Obama and China's Xi Jinping.
     
    Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
    x
    Click to enlarge
    Click to enlarge
    The first day of her trip will be spent with her Chinese counterpart in Beijing,  Xi's wife - first lady Peng Liyuan. The two will visit a school, the Forbidden City, and attend a performance after dinner.
     
    The capital's popular Beijing News talked about how "first lady diplomacy" could play a unique role in U.S.-China relations.  It also remarked how the trip is in sharp contrast to what it called the "double standards" of U.S. cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism and the lack of trust over territorial disputes in the East and South China Sea.
     
    Human rights


    The article said Mrs. Obama would be visiting when there are not any immediate frictions in areas such as human rights.
     
    However just last week, Chinese rights activist Cao Shunli died after falling critically ill in prison. A U.N. investigative report on China's human rights record is scheduled to be adopted by the world body in Geneva Wednesday. The visit also comes just days after two more Tibetan monks set themselves on fire in protest of Chinese rule.
     
    Despite their differences, China and the United States are trying to build a new type of relationship, one between great nations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said both sides see the trip as contributing to that effort.
     
    "This trip is made when the two countries are building a new model of country relationship.  It is of great significance to the relationship between the two countries," the spokesman said.
     
    Education


    The Beijing publication Youth Daily highlighted how education is expected to be a key focus of the trip, with visits to three schools including Peking University.
     
    Tina Tchen, Mrs. Obama's Chief of Staff, says that during the trip the first lady will be focusing on the power of technology and her own story.
     
    "We think [that] resonates with young people around the world," Tchen explained. "As someone from a modest background -- she has parents who didn't go to college but who emphasized education always to the First Lady and her brother, encouraged them to use education as a way to succeed and move forward."
     
    Mrs. Obama will stay in Beijing until Sunday, visit the Great Wall other attractions and deliver a speech at Peking University's Stanford Center among other activities. On Monday, the First Lady, her daughters and mother travel on to Xian to visit China's Xi'an City Wall and Chegdu.
     
    Although the trip has been tightly scripted, it is still possible that sensitive issues could arise.
     
    Blogger Michael Anti notes that while Xian is an historic stop on the trip it is also the site of a brewing controversy in China about kindergarten children being given prescription drugs without the consent of their parents.
     
    "It will be very interesting when Michelle visit's Xian and talks about the whole importance of children to both countries and how the Internet will connect the story with the scandal because it is so direct you can connect them.," Anti said. "I think it will be a very tough day for Chinese Internet censors."
     
    Anti said the trip could also help smooth over the fact that when President Obama comes to Asia in April he will not be visiting China.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.