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Michelle’s Unbearably Light China Trip

by Keith Koffler on March 11, 2014, 12:37 pm

First Lady Michelle Obama plans to steer clear of controversy during her trip to China, which begins next week, begging the question: Why go?

Other than that this is a unique chance for Michelle, her mother and her daughters to see China.

China has one of the most repressive regimes on earth, ranking among the least free countries in the Freedom House annual survey for 2014. Since Mrs. Obama is not qualified to engage in international diplomacy – not that this stopped Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State – what’s the point of going there if not to make a stand against tyranny?

According to the Washington Post, Michelle will veer from the practice of recent first ladies and shun political statements:

When Laura Bush ventured to the Thailand-Burma border six years ago, the first lady accused China of not doing enough to pressure the brutal Burmese regime. When Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Beijing in 1995, she delivered a blunt assessment of China’s human rights record that reverberated as far away as South Africa.

But as Michelle Obama prepares to journey to China next week with her mother and daughters in tow, one thing is clear: The current first lady does not plan to deliver a similar performance.

Instead, Michelle will talk about educating young people

I’m just wondering to myself, thinkin’ out loud here . . . WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT THE EDUCATION OF CHINESE YOUNG PEOPLE?

We’re spending perhaps millions of dollars to send Michelle to China so she can educate Chinese kids?

Jill Biden and MichelleMrs. Obama says she will also visit “cultural sites” – i.e. tourist traps – and share with U.S. kids all the neat stuff she learned.

But this is not some kind of Nixon goes to China and Pat comes along outreach thing. We’ve been there and done that. The Chinese will take Michelle’s outreach and pocket it as some first-rate PR, some de facto acceptance of their odious political system. The students she meets will be the children of cynical Party leaders who will already be programmed not to digest any U.S. propaganda.

China is a human rights disaster zone and needs a good talking to, not a pat on the ass. According to Freedom House, the abuses run wide and deep.

China became increasingly intolerant of dissent in 2013, as officials expanded the criminalization of online speech and police arrested dozens of activists who had advocated anticorruption reforms.

Citizens who attempt to form opposition parties or advocate for democratic reforms have been sentenced to long prison terms in recent years.

In addition to democracy advocates, tens of thousands of grassroots activists, petitioners, Falun Gong practitioners, Christians, Tibetans, and Uighurs are believed to be in prison or extrajudicial forms of detention for their political or religious views, although complete figures are unavailable. In October, the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China published a partial list of over 1,400 political prisoners.

According to international watchdog groups, at least 67 journalists and online activists were behind bars in China in 2012, including many Uighurs and Tibetans, though the actual number was likely much higher.

Religious freedom is sharply curtailed. Religious and ethnic minorities remained a key target of repression in 2012, with several deaths in custody reported.

In the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, an increased security presence that followed ethnic clashes in 2009 remained in place for much of 2012, and many of the hundreds of people detained in 2009 remained imprisoned or unaccounted for.

Real people will be suffering for their beliefs while Mrs. Obama does her Let’s Move: China Edition thing. If she must go on this trip, she ought to rethink her approach.

{ 24 comments }

Sarah M. March 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Keith, you are right on! I’ve lived and worked in China and have seen first-hand the effects of their repressive regime. Can’t imagine why the US has a compelling strategic interest for Mrs. Obama to take this trip. Just another example of the cluelessness of this administration, in my opinion.

Scottso March 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm

maybe she wants to know why Chinese children are better educated in Math and Science then our own children?

If anything she should stand up to human trafficking that comes to the US from China.

Lee March 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Wait till Common Core kicks in.
The main thing our school system needs is discipline.
Discipline started leaving the school system in the late 60′s.
Now you are not only attacked verbally by parents who got their feelings hurt that a teacher fussed at their kids, but teachers are now verbally curse out teachers.
As far as the cost of this trip, has anyone figured out the amount?

Tovarisch March 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Come on really? Its a free trip your dime. That’s all that it is. The shell game flim flam con artists obama’s are living large because in their minds you and I OWE them. There is no “cluelessness” here. They know exactly what they are doing.

Star March 11, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Maybe she can tell them about the websites that help Chinese students ace American admissions policies and occupt the top spots at many schools here.

gracepmc March 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Michelle Obama, her children, and the assorted family and friends that always ride along on the back of American taxpayers, is going on a vacation to China.

She is a mooch.

Scottso March 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm

She’s all for slimming down, and shaping up…except when it comes the budget.

Then it’s free wheeling and party in style.
hey, it’s not her dollar.

srdem65 March 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Let her have her fancy vacation and hope she doesn’t embarrass us with her bad manners and inappropriate attire.
Some of us are kind of hoping that MrsChina returns the insult of MrsO’s lame excuse for not greeting her when she was in California. That would be justified, for sure.
The First Daughters have been studying Mandarin in their snooty school, so we can expect one or both to make some greeting to the Chinese. How special.
Of course, MrsO is barely literate in American English so she won’t be talking off the cuff to anyone there. y’know. right, you guys?

Have fun MrsO, and please don’t say anything we’ll regret.

Girly1 March 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Srdem…do you mean ‘talkin’ off the cuff’ about all of her schtruggles growing up in a racist society? Got it! :)

Porterhouse March 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Is there a bigger war on women that literally sending your baby girls out of the country?

Car in March 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm

It’s important that we impart to the Chinese the importance of education. It’s not as if they score higher on national tests or anything than us. @@

D.V. March 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm

China has a very long history of education, albeit for the elite at first. Somehow, not sure that Western style of education will do it for them

Nina Murphy March 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

The safest thing would be for the White House to bill the trip as an educational trip for the girls. Letting Mrs. Obama carry any kind of political message wouldn’t be a good idea as most of the time, she has only two facial expressions – mad and furious.

Girly1 March 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Having traveled to China many times during the 80′s and 90′s I can vouch for the fact that the education level of the tiniest 3-4-5 year olds is beyond anything MO could imagine.. She definitely will undergo culture shock.
We visited the relatively primative individual school rooms in many Provinces. Smallish rooms with group tables, colorful litte cots for nap time, miniature sinks for hygeine purposes, individual little potty chairs, and individual cubicles for clothing and other belongings. All in oje room! The little tots were unbelieveably bright and polite – performing little dances and songs. Everything was so clean and tidy.

It’s sad to know that these adorable children will grow up in an oppresive communist regime. But it’s a tad better than growing up in the concrete jungle called Chicago where feral thugs run wild.

There is nothing of any value that Michelle Obama can impart to the Chinese people. She will be viewed as the ‘Ugly American’, along with her SouthSide friends and relatives. She is deluding herself if she thinks she will be welcomed. Privately, she will be ridiculed.

.

Julie Brueckheimer March 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Nixon joked that the reason he re-opened relations with China because he liked the food. It’s probably the real reason the Mooch is going over there. That and to sight see and to let the younger daughter practice her Mandarin.

Langley Spook March 11, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Being a wannabe China Scholar-Intelligence Officer this makes me sick…

Junius March 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Big Mooch is going for the food plain and simple. Chinese food is one of her all time favorites. Have you ever seen her devour a whole glazed duck in just one gulp? Her jaws have expandible joints akin to that of a Burmese python. A grim and at the same time impressive sight. Follow the food trail and it will lead to China for our First Entitlement Queen.

Let’s Move!

Dawn March 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Last summer, mooooch stood up China´s First Lady Peng Liyuan when they were in Rancho Mirage, California. Wonder if the Chinese will have any special events planned for mooooch and her brood.

sportinlife10 March 11, 2014 at 8:41 pm

O/T: the photo:
Why would I want to see the armpits of those two?

apr_47 March 12, 2014 at 12:05 am

She doesn’t give a rip about freedom anywhere. She’s got to get out of that pressure cooker in D.C. and enjoying to the hilt the perks of the office. I read the other day that one of those trips to South Africa cost about eleven million dollars.
And please, talking about education in China…cough! cough! What a crock!
What makes me mad is she’s taking her daughters and mother along at taxpayers’ expense. This is such a rip off!

Mike March 12, 2014 at 6:03 am

Hope the FLATUS’ plane goes missing.

Steve March 12, 2014 at 7:50 am

This is a part of the Democratic “War on Women”. Just think, would these 4 women: Mooch, her daughters and mother, even be alive if they had been fetuses in China, Their one child population control policy would have killed the females ie. women! Get real, this is just another vacation at the taxpayer’s expense.

Tovarisch March 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Yep.

physics1200 March 15, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Money better spent in the United States promoting educating our youth. She can cross China off her bucket list after she’s out of the White House.