World / US and Canada

Obamas wowed by China

By ZHAO SHENGNAN, LI XIAOKUN and LIU WEI in Beijing and CHEN WEIHUA in Washington (China Daily USA) Updated: 2014-03-24 09:56

Obamas wowed by China

Wall walkers: US first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia (left) and Sasha visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall in suburban Beijing on Sunday. ZHU XINGXIN / CHINA DAILY

US First Lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, have become true heroes when they reached the Great Wall in Beijing's suburbs on Sunday, as the Chinese saying goes.

Walking on top of the ancient wall at Mutianyu and looking down over the ravine, the three were stunned by the "breathtaking" views at "one of the great marvels of human history" as Mrs Obama described in her White House travel blog on Sunday.

"During our visit to the wall, I couldn't stop thinking about what a massive undertaking it must have been to build it," she wrote.

While the new blog gave a short introduction to American people of the history of the Great Wall, the White House also released a photo showing the first lady having fun coming down the wall by taking a toboggan ride.

Mrs Obama, her mother Marian Robinson, and her two daughters are on their first trip to China from March 19-26, with stops in Beijing, Xi'an and Chengdu.

On Sunday, the four had lunch at a restaurant renovated from a former school building located near a section of the Great Wall.

In the morning, Mrs Obama hosted an education roundtable at the US Embassy in Beijing, attended by new US ambassador to China Max Baucus and Chinese professors, students and parents. Education has been a central theme of Mrs Obama's trip. In Sunday blog post, Mrs Obama talked about why.

"This is an issue of great importance to me as First Lady - that's why I've been working to inspire young people in America to pursue their education beyond high school," she wrote, adding that was also a very personal issue for her.

"Growing up, my family didn't have much money, and my parents never attended college. However, like so many parents here in China who care so deeply about educating their kids, my parents were determined to send me and my brother to college," she said.

"I studied as hard as I could, and with the help of scholarships and student loans, I was able to attend Princeton University and Harvard Law School. The degrees I got from those schools allowed me to get a job as a lawyer at a big law firm, and then as an executive at a hospital, and then as the director of a program that prepared young people for careers in public service," she wrote.

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