US First Lady Michelle Obama took her hand at a game of ping pong while accompanying China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan to the Second High School attached to Beijing Normal University yesterday as part of her week-long visit to China.
“We had a wonderful first day here in Beijing. We had an opportunity to meet with students, I tried my hand at ping pong — not so good,” Obama said yesterday in response to a reception from President Xi Jinping. “And our visit to the Forbidden City is one that we will never forget. Being able to see my mother, who doesn’t get to travel internationally often, walk through that ancient city, and to see her excitement and wonder is a moment that I will treasure forever.”
Obama arrived in Beijing with her mother and two daughters, Sasha and Malia, on Thursday on the invitation of Peng, whom she described as “so amicable” and “very approachable.” The US first lady and her family will travel to Xi’an for sightseeing and speeches during the rest of the visit aimed at promoting educational and cultural exchanges between the US and China.
Obama spoke at Peking University today and stressed to students the importance of freedom of speech, saying that free flow of information is so important “because that’s how we discover truth, that’s how we learn what’s really happening in our communities, our country and our world”.
“And that’s how we decide which values and ideas we think are best — by questioning and debating them vigorously, by listening to all sides of every argument and by judging for ourselves,” she said.
Meanwhile the students likely sat in the audience texting away on the same mobile app that just tasted the wrath of China’s vicious censors.
Previously on Shanghaiist:
Michelle Obama and Peng Liyuan commence hangout session in Beijing
Michelle Obama visit sparks Peng Liyuan/FLOTUS fashion showdown
[Image via ECNS.cn]