Michelle Obama ‘snubs’ China’s first lady
China’s hopes that their first lady would dazzle the American public during this week’s summit between her husband, Xi Jinping, and Barack Obama have been dashed after it was announced that Michelle Obama would not attend.
Communist Party bosses had seen the June 7-8 Sunnylands summit as a golden opportunity to deploy Peng Liyuan’s much-vaunted charms on the world stage in a bid to spin a more favourable image of China’s leaders.
But on Tuesday Mrs Obama’s office told the New York Times the first lady would remain in Washington with her daughters who are coming to the end of their academic year.
Domestic Dangers for Xi in Sunnylands
Chinese leaders always run risks when they attend a summit in the United States.
Certainly, Chinese president Xi Jinping stands to benefit from this week’s two-day “shirt-sleeves summit” with Barack Obama. The informal setting, on the Sunnylands private estate in California, and casual attire will give him a chance to burnish his reputation as a more accessible leader than his predecessor, the famously formal Hu Jintao. And it never hurts to be seen discussing matters of global importance on an equal footing with the leader of the world’s most powerful nation.
Sunnylands summit: Access to Obama, Xi to be limited
Portions of two major roads in the city will be closed to traffic beginning Friday morning until as late as Sunday evening for the two-day Sunnylands summit between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.