News / Asia

US First Lady Set for Education-Focused Trip to China

US First Lady Set for Education Focused Trip to Chinai
X
Guofu Yang
March 18, 2014 8:05 PM
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama is set to start a week-long visit to China focusing on education. But her trip is not expected to feature controversial subjects, such as human rights. Colin Lovett narrates this report by VOA's Guofu Yang.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama is set to start a week-long visit to China focusing on education. Her trip is not expected to feature controversial subjects, such as human rights.

Last week the White House announced Michelle Obama would take her mother and two daughters to China from March 19 to March 26, for a trip that will focus on culture and education.

While visiting a special Chinese language school in Washington this month, Mrs. Obama emphasized that no matter where she traveld, she was most concerned with education, and traveling to China would be no exception.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Center for Strategic and International Studies Asia Affairs Advisor Bonnie Glaser believed that making visits without political overtones has been a consistent way of doing things for the first lady.  

"I think that Michelle Obama has made two prior trips abroad. She has not focused on controversial issues anywhere. And she has not really given public speeches. So I don't think she will give a public speech in China. I think she prefers to focus on specific issues that are important to her, and education is clearly her priority on this trip," she said.

Glaser said that Sino-American relations were complex, but that Michelle Obama may reinforce the U.S.-China relationship in a broader way.

"She will do what she can to strengthen the U.S.-China relationship. And particularly people-to-people exchanges. This is an agenda item that has been identified both by Beijing and Washington as being important for the relationship. To have more exchanges between youth, between experts and all walks of life. And so I think she will contribute to that part of the relationship," she said.

Controversial statements from a U.S. First Lady are not unheard of.

In 1995, then-U.S. first lady Hillary Clinton visited Beijing and participated in the U.N.’s 4th World Conference on Women. While there, she caused controversy by attacking China’s human rights record.

Laura Bush normally avoided controversial remarks. While visiting the Burma-Thailand border region six years ago, however, she criticized Beijing for not putting enough pressure on the then military government in Burma, also known as Myanmar.

Mrs. Obama and her family will visit Beijing, Xi’an, and Chengdu. They also will meet with Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid