U.S. first lady Michelle Obama touted America's progress on ethnic equality, civil rights and religious freedom as she continued her tour of China.
Obama made the comments Tuesday during a speech to Chinese students at a prestigious high school in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
She said that in America, hard-working people can succeed "no matter where you live or how much your parents have...or what race, religion, or ethnicity you are."
The first lady has largely avoided controversial political issues during her week-long trip, instead focusing on topics such as education.
One exception was Saturday, when she told a group of Chinese and American students that freedom of religion and access to information were "universal human rights."
China is among the most repressive nations in the world concerning free speech, cracking down on dissent, blocking many news and online sites, and censoring Internet news that Beijing considers objectionable.
The U.S. also routinely criticizes China for its treatment of Tibetans and Uighur Muslims, who complain of government persecution and restrictions on their religious practices.
Obama, who is traveling with her two daughters and mother, last week met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. She has also visited popular tourists sites, such as the Great Wall of China and the former Imperial Palace.
She is set to depart for Washington on Wednesday.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama practices tai chi with students at Chengdu No.7 High School in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province, March 25, 2014.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama looks at a terracotta warrior as she visits Qinshihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum with her daughters, Malia and Sasha, and her mother, Marian Shields Robinson, in Xi'an, March 24, 2014.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama walks with her daughters Malia and Sasha as they visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, March 23, 2014.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks next to U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus as they attend a round table discussion on education at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, March 23, 2014.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, followed by her daughters Malia and Sasha, is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Diaoyutai State guest house in Beijing, March 21, 2014.
Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, shows U.S. first lady Michelle Obama how to hold a writing brush as they visit a Chinese traditional calligraphy class at the Beijing Normal School, March 21, 2014.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama plays table tennis at the Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend colleges overseas, March 21, 2014.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, her daughters Sasha and Malia and her mother Marian Robinson pose with Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, as they visit Forbidden City in Beijing, March 21, 2014.