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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama and Madame Peng Before Tour of Beijing Normal School

Beijing Normal School
Beijing, China

9:35 PAM. CST

MADAME PENG:  (As Interpreted.)  Mrs. Michelle Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha, first of all, let me extend a very warm welcome to you all to China.  And it’s such a great delight to see you all.

In China, we have an ancient idiom, which means that when two people meet for the first time, they may feel as if they have known each other for many years. 

In June last year, President Xi Jinping and I met with your husband, President Barack Obama, at Annenberg Estate where the two sides agreed on the visit to China, and afterwards, you and I exchanged correspondence in which we confirmed your visit -- and the subsequent pleasure to finally see you here in person.  And in December of last year, to celebrate the 100th day of the birth of the baby panda at the Washington Zoo, we sent video messages to express our congratulations.  And the people of both China and the United States shared the joy.

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, thank you so much, Madame Peng.  It is truly an honor and a privilege to travel here to visit you in China.  Your gracious welcome, your invitation means the world to me. 

It’s very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States, and it’s even more rare to have the opportunity to travel with three generations -- with my daughters, and with my mother.  And it is no accident that one of our first trips as a family is here to China. 

The relationships between the United States and China couldn’t be more important.  And having the opportunity to travel here, to listen, to learn, to hear more about the education initiatives here in this country and to share my travels with students throughout the United States is a very unique experience, and it’s one that I will never forget. 

9:39 A.M. CST