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In China, Michelle Obama to stay firmly in 'mom-in-chief' mode

Published on Mar 17, 2014 6:36 AM
 
United States First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to steer clear of controversial issues such as human rights when she visits China this week but her trip could help advance a top item on her husband's foreign policy agenda: deepening Washington's ties with Beijing. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - United States (US) First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to steer clear of controversial issues such as human rights when she visits China this week but her trip could help advance a top item on her husband's foreign policy agenda: deepening Washington's ties with Beijing.

The week-long trip marks only the third foreign solo trip for Mrs Obama, who has cultivated a self-described "mom-in-chief" image, putting her energy into raising her daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, and signature domestic policy issues such as combating childhood obesity.

She has joked that her motto during her husband's White House tenure has been to "do no harm". In keeping with that cautious approach, the White House said Mrs Obama's message on the trip will focus on cultural ties between the two countries and "the power and importance of education" for young people in both countries.

But her trip, which will be front-page news in China and closely parsed by media, will carry important symbolic value.

 
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