Remarks by the First Lady Michelle Obama and President Xi Jinping of China
Diaoyutai Guest Houses, Beijing, China
March 21, 2014
PRESIDENT XI: (As interpreted.) Mrs. Michelle Obama, may I start by extending my warm welcome to you, to your mother, Mrs. Robinson, and your two lovely daughters, Malia and Sasha.
In June last year at Annenberg Estate, during my meeting with your husband, President Obama, we decided that the Chinese side will invite you to China. And the other day when I was speaking to him on the phone, we mentioned this again. And it’s such a great pleasure to see you in person today.
I cherish my sound working relationship and personal friendship I have already established with your husband, and we stay in close touch through meetings, phone conversations and correspondence. I look forward to meeting with him again at the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in the Hague in a couple of days’ time, and I also look forward to receiving him in China in November when he visits China and attends the APEC Economic Leaders meeting. I also hope very much that you will be traveling with him at that time.
China-U.S. bilateral relationship matters very much to both of our countries and to the world. I am confident that with the concerted efforts of the two sides, the China-U.S. relationship will keep moving forward towards our shared goal of building a new model of major country relationships.
I wish to thank the U.S. side for sending such a heavyweight ambassador to China. I believe that he will receive his duty with great success, and he will inject new impetus to this bilateral relationship.
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you so much. Mr. President, Madame Peng, we are honored and thrilled to be here in China with you. And we’re so grateful for the warmth and hospitality that you’ve shown me and my family.
We had a wonderful first day here in Beijing. We had an opportunity to meet with students, I tried my hand at ping pong – not so good. (Laughter.) And our visit to the Forbidden City is one that we will never forget. Being able to see my mother, who doesn’t get to travel internationally often, walk through that ancient city, and to see her excitement and wonder is a moment that I will treasure forever.
I’m going to focus my visit on education, which is an important issue to both of our nations. We’ve got to continue to highlight the importance of student exchange between our countries, and I’ll be speaking about that tomorrow.