Tour adds 'new dimension' to ties

Updated: 2014-03-19 23:14

By Pu Zhendong in Beijing and Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily)

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Tour adds 'new dimension' to ties

Kermit the Frog and first lady Michelle Obama introduce a showing of the new movie Muppets Most Wanted for children of US military families at the White House in Washington March 12, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Experts say Obama will focus on issues ranging from health, education, children


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US first lady Michelle Obama will arrive in Beijing on Thursday afternoon to kick off a weeklong, three-city tour of China that analysts said will further advance relations between Beijing and Washington.

Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan will join Obama on a visit to the Forbidden City on Friday and welcome Obama, her daughters Malia and Sasha as well as her mother Marian Robinson for a private dinner event, according to the White House.

This will be the first visit to China by a US first lady without the accompaniment of the US president.

The Obamas will also tour the Great Wall; see the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province; and visit a panda reserve in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Michelle Obama will also deliver speeches on bilateral cooperation in education during the tour.

Chinese experts hailed the visit as "a new dimension in the architecture of Sino-US relations" and said Michelle Obama's every step and syllable along the tour will send shockwaves through the media outlets of both countries.

"Michelle Obama is expected to convey the US message of family values, education and people-to-people exchanges to the Chinese public. Americans can also take this opportunity to learn about China's beauty and amicability," said Li Haidong, a US studies researcher at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.

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