Mrs. Obama speaks to an audience of American students studying abroad and Chinese students who have studied in the US at Peking University on March 22, 2014. Image: White House.

First lady Michelle Obama says “Ni-Hao” to China


The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has said “Ni-Hao” to China. Mrs. Obama took a week-long trip to China from March 19-26. During her speech at Peking University in Beijing on the third day of her trip, she stressed that the relationship between the two counties is not built just between leaders, but between people. Focusing on cultural experiences, Mrs. Obama had a meeting with Pen Liyuan, wife of president Xi Jinping of China.

During Mrs. Obama’s trip to China, she was accompanied by her two daughters, Sasha and Malia, and her mother, Marian Robinson. They visited Beijing, Xi’an, and wrapped up their trip in Chengdu. Mrs. Obama uploaded her travels daily, so people in the US or the around the world could participate in her visit. She posted “The first lady’s travel journal”, a podcast series, and “Ask the first lady” through the White House website and social media including Twitter and Instagram.

Throughout her trip, Mrs. Obama encouraged young Americans to break out of their comfort zone and to experience the world. She visited Beijing Normal University’s Second High School to emphasize the importance of education. During her visit to No. 7 High School in Chengdu, Mrs. Obama offered inspiration to the younger generation through her personal life story. In describing her parent’s effort to make her life better and through her expectations for her daughters, she quoted a Chinese saying, “To achieve true happiness, help the next generation.”

More information about Michelle Obama’s trip is available here.

Jieun Choi is an Asan Academy Intern at the East-West Center in Washington.