PRESIDENT OBAMA: (In progress) -- We have made incredible strides over these past several decades, and I know that President Xi and I are both committed to continuing to strengthen and build a new model of relations between our countries.
Today we drove about an hour north of Beijing to a village called Mutianyu to visit a section of the Great Wall of China, which was simply breathtaking. The scenery on the way there was beautiful – a wide vista of mountains and trees – so the car ride alone was a treat. But then, running along the highest ridges of the mountains, you see it: The Great Wall – one of the great marvels of human history.
This morning, I had the privilege of visiting Peking University and speaking with Chinese students and American students studying abroad here in China.
After visiting the Beijing Normal School, Madame Peng took Sasha and Malia, my mother, and me to the Forbidden City, which is located right in the heart of Beijing.
After a long flight from Washington, D.C. – one that took around 20 hours – my mother, my daughters, and I arrived in Beijing to begin our official visit to China. Our first stop was at the Beijing Normal School, where we were hosted by Madam Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China.
The United States is deeply disturbed by reports that rights activist Cao Shunli has passed away at a hospital in Beijing. We offer our condolences to her family.
As Russia spins a false narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine, the world has not seen such startling Russian fiction since Dostoyevsky wrote, “The formula ‘two plus two equals five’ is not without its attractions.”
The First Lady will travel to China from March 19-26, 2014. She will be visiting Beijing from March 20-23, Xi’an on March 24, and Chengdu from March 25-26. During her trip, the First Lady will meet with Madame Peng, the spouse of China’s President Xi Jinping.
After two and half exciting and fulfilling years in Beijing as the U.S. Ambassador to China, the time has come for me to leave my posting here and return to the United States. While I am happy to be returning to my home and my family, my wife and I will dearly miss our many Chinese friends and acquaintances, both new and old. You are the ones who have made this experience so fascinating and so fulfilling.
Mona and I have always enjoyed speaking to young people, whether in America or China, because the young people have such great energy and creativity and really represent the future of our great society. As China’s next generation of leaders in business, in government, science, academia and the arts, you are all going to play a very vital role in China’s future and in the direction of U.S.-China relations for generations to come.
In light of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change and its worsening impacts, and the related issue of air pollution from burning fossil fuels, the United States and China recognize the urgent need for action to meet these twin challenges. Both sides reaffirm their commitment to contribute significantly to successful 2015 global efforts to meet this challenge.
On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I am delighted to extend best wishes to the many people around the world who celebrate the arrival of the Lunar New Year on January 31. In this festive time, we should all take a moment to pause and reflect on the shared humanity that ties us together – not just here in America, but around the world.
The United States is deeply concerned that foreign journalists in China continue to face restrictions that impede their ability to do their jobs, including extended delays in processing journalist visas, restrictions on travel to certain locations deemed “sensitive” by Chinese authorities and, in some cases, violence at the hands of local authorities. These restrictions and treatment are not consistent with freedom of the press—and stand in stark contrast with U.S. treatment of Chinese and other foreign journalists.
President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress on January 28.
The United States is deeply disappointed by reports that a Chinese court has convicted prominent Chinese legal scholar and rights advocate Xu Zhiyong on charges of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in a public place” and sentenced him to four years in prison.
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