March 21 - U.S. first lady Michelle Obama begins a week long visit to China aimed at forging educational and cultural ties. Vanessa Johnston reports.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the first day of her trip to china in Beijing. She arrived on Thursday with her mother and two daughters, for a week long trip aimed at promoting education and cultural exchanges between the U.S. and China. Accompanying her at a Beijing school, China's first lady Peng Liyuan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES, MICHELLE OBAMA, SAYING: "The relationships between the United States and China couldn't be more important. And having an opportunity to travel here to listen, to learn, to hear more about the education and initiatives here in this country, and share my travels with students throughout the United States is a very unique experience and it's one that I will never forget." The Chinese students engaged Obama in a game of table tennis, known here as Ping Pang, and showed her how to write using traditional Chinese brush. Obama also visited the Palace Museum, known as the Forbidden City, which used to be a Chinese imperial palace. Later she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The First Lady's trip is expected to steer clear of controversial issues such as human rights.