First Lady Michelle Obama is in China for an official visit to expand Sino-American relations; however, she will refrain from talking about political differences. Unlike former First Ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton (both criticized other countries’ human rights records on trips abroad while their husbands were in office), has sought to focus on “soft” issues since her arrival in Beijing, playing Ping-Pong with students and touring the Forbidden City.
During a speech at Peking University’s Stanford Centre, Michelle Obama told a crowd of about 200 students, most of who were from the U.S., “It is so important for information and ideas to flow freely over the internet and through the media.” “When it comes to expressing yourself freely, and having open access to information – we believe those are universal rights that are the birthright of every person on this planet,” she added.
Mrs. Obama will be accompanied by her children and her mother on her trip but not by the press. The most “transparent” White House in history released this statement, “Michelle Obama’s trip to China will be nonpolitical, a ‘people-to-people’ exchange.” As if to underscore the point “no reporters are traveling with the First Lady, and she does not plan to give interviews while there,” reports the the New York Times.
Even more curious is Moochelle’s statement, “It’s very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside the United States.” By July 3rd, 2013, Moochelle had traveled to Britain, France, Germany, The Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, The Vatican, Ghana, Denmark, Norway, Haiti, Mexico, Spain, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Ireland, Botswana, South Africa, The Bahamas, Senegal, and Tanzania–a total of 14 trips abroad! Seven of which were considered personal travel.
In 2013, American taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on “perks” for the Obamas. By contrast, the British taxpayers spent a paltry $57.8 million on their Royal Family.
The White House is declining to say how much the week-long excursion to China will cost.
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