Xi Jinping meets Michelle Obama in rare move affirming Sino-US ties

Meeting between Chinese President and US First Lady said to be a first


IN A rare move signalling the rising importance Beijing places on ties with Washington, President Xi Jinping met US First Lady Michelle Obama, who is on her first solo trip to China.

Experts say this is likely the first time a Chinese President has met a First Lady on her own and reflects that relations between the two giants are in "good shape" despite their differences.

"Relations have developed significantly and it shows both sides are keeping sight of the big picture rather than small differences," Professor Ding Xinghao, head of the Shanghai Association of American Studies, told The Straits Times. "Mr Xi is definitely giving face to Mrs Obama."

Mr Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan greeted Mrs Obama at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse yesterday evening, with Mr Xi touching on the personal relationship he shared with the US President.

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