First Lady Michelle Obama, who has mostly refused to address China’s political oppression during her trip to the country, today upped the ante by actually praising Madame Peng, the wife of China’s president, for her “inspiring” commitment “to improving public health in her country and around the world.”
One assumes Mrs. Obama is not referring to the health of Madame Peng’s political opponents, who are rotting in her jails.
From a Q&A Mrs. Obama had today with CaixanOnline, a China-focused news site.
Question: You were unable to meet with Peng Liyuan, President Xi Jinping’s wife, last year in California, but I believe you two have kept in touch. Might you be able to speak to what you two have discussed?
Michelle: Madame Peng and I have a number of things in common. We have both worked hard to balance our roles as mothers and professionals, and we both have the great honor of representing our countries when we travel, showcasing the unique cultures and history of the United States and China all around the world. We have also both chosen to work on issues we care about, and Madame Peng’s commitment to improving public health in her country and around the world is truly inspiring.
That good ‘ole Madame Peng, just another working mother trying to balance work and gettin’ the kids to kung fu practice. This is certainly PR gold for the Chinese kleptocrats.
This woman and her husband stepped on lots of corpses to achieve their current position.
We have to meet with these people. But we don’t have to pretend they’re about the betterment of mankind. Rather, we should be making it clear that they’re not.
In a question that may well have been planted, Caixan conveniently set Michelle up to promote the White House line that Mrs. Obama’s decision to bring her daughters and her mother on the trip is some kind of cultural outreach thing. The question is right out of the White House talking points:
Question: Your mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, and daughters, Malia and Sasha, are traveling with you. This represents three different generations of Americans. What kind of message or image do you want to convey to China?
Michelle Like many Chinese families, at our house, we have three generations under one roof. When my husband was elected president back in 2008, one of the first things I did was ask my mother to come live with us in the White House and help raise our daughters, and I am grateful every day for her presence in our lives.
That’s pretty funny. We too have three generations under one roof! Except the White House roof is about a hundred and seventy four times the size of roofs of Chinese families with little choice other than to live in all in one shack.
And Mrs. Robinson ain’t exactly the wizened figure in the corner of the bedroom/living room darning socks for the children.
Anyhoo, Mrs. Obama had a full day of tourism today, with less pretense than usual that this trip is about something else.
She’s visited the city of Xi’an and it’s Terracotta Army exhibit.
Family welcomed by tall spear carrying men dressed in warrior costumes from Tang Dynasty, 618 to 907 AD. A tour guide from the city administration, Yu Dahu, told pool reporter that he explained history of the wall dating from Ming dynasty, 14th century. It,s 40 feet tall took eight years to build. It forms a large courtyard, and a series of steps leads to the top of the wall where there is a wide walkway, and a bell tower.
Of course, she had to meet with students in Xi’an, just in case people don’t get the joke that this excursion is devoted to education:
On the walkway at the top of the wall, Flotus and family watched a demo of jump rope and shuttlecock kicking by students from the northwest polytechnic university high school. Flotus accepted invitation to jump rope, doffed kitten heels for flats and did a few turns with the rope. She gamely kicked a shuttlecock …. Very pretty with yellow pink and red feathers – with the side of her foot, the technique shown to her by a chinese instructor.
Flotus and girls given some gifts : Rubik cubes (signify wisdom said Mr Yu, and some paper dragons and phoenixes. She spoke informally to the chinese students – dressed in track suits – for their jump rope demo. According to Mr Yu she encouraged them to go to the US for study. Flotus and family spent some time inside the tower, but no info from her office or anywhere else on what went on inside. They then descended stairs to courtyard and watched a troupe of folk dancers, w Flotus and malia swaying to the music, mostly drums.
Pool in motorcade and we are heading to airport for flight to chengdu where Flotus spends Tuesday and Wednesday, and leaves from there back to the US.
Here’s one of the What-I-did-on-my-vacation videos Mrs. Obama is sending home.