Michelle to push education on China visit

Updated: 2014-03-18 09:21


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WASHINGTON _ US first lady Michelle Obama heads for China with her mother and daughters in tow on Wednesday.

The trip will be all about education and people-to-people connections, with some stops at historical and cultural treasures along the way.

Tina Tchen, the first lady's chief of staff, said that stressing the shared importance of education to young people in the US and China was important not just for students but "vital for the competitiveness of our US global economy."

The first lady is scheduled to address American and Chinese students at Peking University on Saturday about the importance of study abroad and other cultural exchanges as well as the stakes the two countries have in one another's success. She'll also hold a virtual session with American students around the world.

On March 25, Mrs. Obama, a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, will visit a high school in the southwestern city of Chengdu to share her own story about overcoming obstacles to obtaining a college education, including teachers who told her she was setting her sights too high.

Along the way, Mrs. Obama and the two generations of women accompanying her _ daughters Malia and Sasha and mother Marian Robinson _ will visit historic sites including the Great Wall, the famed Terra Cotta Warriors in the central city of Xian and the Chengdu Panda Base, home to about 50 pandas.

The White House is encouraging students at US schools to follow Mrs. Obama's trip online, via the White House blog, Twitter and through PBS LearningMedia and Discovery Education.

The trip also will allow the first lady to make up for the fact that she opted to stay in Washington rather than meet with her Chinese counterpart in California last year.

She'll spend Friday with Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will take Mrs. Obama on a school visit.

President Barack Obama is expected to visit the Asian economic powerhouse later this year.

Michelle to push education on China visit
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