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US first lady hosts education roundtable in China



BEIJING (AP) - U.S. first lady Michelle Obama told Chinese professors, students and parents on Sunday that she wouldn't have risen to where she was if her parents hadn't pushed for her to get a good education.

Mrs. Obama made her comments before hosting a discussion about education on the third day of a weeklong visit to the country aimed at promoting educational exchanges between the U.S. and China. She also walked a section of the Great Wall with her two daughters.

"Education is an important focus for me. It's personal, because I wouldn't be where I am today without my parents investing and pushing me to get a good education," the first lady said. "My parents were not educated themselves, but one of the things they understood was that my brother and I needed that foundation."

She said she and her husband wanted as many young people as possible in the United States and the world to have access to education.

She then hosted a roundtable with a handful of Chinese professors, students and parents at an event at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing that was attended by new U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus and closed to the media.

In the afternoon, Mrs. Obama, her mother and her two daughters visited a section of the Great Wall in the northern Beijing suburbs. She and daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, were given time alone to walk on the wall.

On Saturday, Mrs. Obama gave a 15-minute speech at China's prestigious Peking University in which she promoted the free flow of information and freedom of speech, the only time during her trip that she has brought up a contentious issue. China routinely filters out information deemed offensive by the government and silences dissenting voices.

Those remarks by Mrs. Obama were absent from China's state media but were circulating in social media, where they were widely praised.

The trip, the first time a U.S. president's wife has independently visited China, also has given Mrs. Obama an opportunity to engage with President Xi Jinping's wife, Peng Liyuan.

On Friday, the two first ladies toured a Beijing high school, where Mrs. Obama tried her hand at calligraphy and pingpong and visited with students who had built robots. She also met with Xi that evening.

Mrs. Obama will visit the cities of Xi'an and Chengdu before returning to Washington on Wednesday.

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ELLEN March 23 2014 at 9:37 AM

I wish she visited the orphanages to see how they treat the children there. That would have made the trip worthwhile. They are not going to listen to anything we have to say.

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gryfrei March 23 2014 at 9:38 AM

What credentials does she have to give a speech on anything? To what level has she "risen"?

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1 reply
nepatriots1941 gryfrei June 10 2014 at 7:57 PM

None and None...Does she even know how to dress...I think she dresses this way to embarrass the US....

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justworkinggirl March 23 2014 at 9:41 AM

I guess being president now equates to sending your family on a world tour on the taxpayer dime.

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2 replies
desertrse1 justworkinggirl March 23 2014 at 9:50 AM

Laura Bush went to Africa 5 times to talk about HIV/AIDS, she also went to Zambia, Mozambique, Mali, Senegal :& Haiti. First ladies often take trips without their husbands to promote things they feel are important. Why is it only when this one does everyone goes nuts?

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2 replies
nepatriots1941 desertrse1 May 22 2014 at 5:42 PM

Because she's an uninformed joke.....That's why.....Where have you been...sleeping the last several years.....

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nepatriots1941 desertrse1 June 10 2014 at 8:00 PM

Are you kidding me....!!!!.....These ladies like, Mrs.Bush, and most all American wives of the President made these trips for peace and caring for the poor and dying and trying to make change....This one does it for the trip and free stuff....

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nepatriots1941 justworkinggirl May 22 2014 at 5:49 PM

She is a disgrace to Americans......This is just another trip/vacation for these people....

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expos249 March 23 2014 at 9:42 AM

If we all make it to 2016-Maybe this country can be saved -but for now-let's all hold our breath!

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1 reply
pdbliz expos249 March 23 2014 at 9:45 AM

I THINK THE AMERICANS WILL VOTE,,,,HILLARY,,,,,AMERICAN YOUTH IS BEING SCHOOLED NOW FOR HILLARY..
HOW SAD AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE BECOME.....

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1 reply
nepatriots1941 pdbliz May 22 2014 at 5:43 PM

Not a chance......I believe people have been educating themselves.....One can only pray.....

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olma7 March 23 2014 at 9:42 AM

everythinng is made in China already, what education do they need ??? Is't the americans that have to know how to manufacture it all. and keep the education right here.!!!

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1 reply
nepatriots1941 olma7 May 22 2014 at 5:45 PM

You would think.....That's part of why we don't have any jobs left...Most all companies have gone by the wayside.....:(

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Cube March 23 2014 at 9:45 AM

Unlikely to find a more illustrative definition of the word junket.

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bigfile4 March 23 2014 at 10:00 AM

The First Lady in the Communist World of Sheeple. We did better with our foreign policy when we were more cautious of our enemies. Anyone out there have a good reason to trust the Russians and Chinese? Writing a comment about how untrustworthy you think we are is not an appropriate answer.

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1 reply
nepatriots1941 bigfile4 May 22 2014 at 5:47 PM

She might be your first lady but not mine and I don't consider him as my President.....Never.....!!!

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tennisstupid March 23 2014 at 10:02 AM

they are applying the concepts from Animal Farm... some are created more equal than others

Flag Reply +5 rate up
ecsnydr March 23 2014 at 10:08 AM

Do we have wifes of, say European countries, coming here to profess that universal heathcare is a human right and why don't we take care of our citizens as they do?

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1 reply
nepatriots1941 ecsnydr May 22 2014 at 5:48 PM

I think by now you would know the answer to that question.....

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ledbre1954 March 23 2014 at 10:15 AM

Freedom of speech, you say? You are talking about Free of Speech in China when we don't have it here anymore...really?

Flag Reply +13 rate up
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