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

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    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.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora