March 27, 2014
By Didi Tang
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama spoke to rural Chinese students via web conferencing Tuesday March 25, at her last stop of the six-day China tour focusing on education and cultural exchange.
She was visiting Chengdu No. 7 High School in the southwestern province of Sichuan, an elite school known for its use of distance learning technology to bring quality education to impoverished remote regions in the mountainous province.
Mrs. Obama has largely avoided thorny, political issues on her China trip, although she made a statement that free expressions, choice of religion and unfettered access to information are “universal rights” in a speech at the Stanford Center at Peking University in Beijing on Saturday.
China has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on Internet discourse. Mrs. Obama’s remarks did not call out China directly and have not drawn any governmental protest. But that part of her speech has been kept out of all official Chinese media reports.
While in Beijing, she also visited an elite high school, where more than 30 American students are studying as exchange students, and she held a private discussion with a handful of Chinese professors, students and parents.
Mrs. Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday March 21, before Xi flew to The Hague for a nuclear security summit and held a meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday.
Accompanied by her mother Marian Robinson and daughters Malia and Sasha, Mrs. Obama has toured the former Imperial Palace, the Great Wall in Beijing, and the Terra Cotta Museum in the ancient city of Xi’an.