A White House official provided the following background information:
Mrs. Obama wrote a letter to Madame Peng welcoming her to the United States. The First Lady said she regretted missing her this weekend but hopes to have the chance to visit China and meet Madame Peng sometime soon.
The First Lady said that she could not make the meeting with Madame Peng of China due to celebrating her daughter Sasha’s Birthday. But Sasha’s Birthday is June 10th. Another source said Michelle Obama plans to remain in Washington because her daughters finished school this week. Either way, the Chinese are taking this as an outright Snub as Madame Peng was looking forward to meeting the First Lady.
Chinese blogs where in an uproar over the incident:
One user said, “Michelle’s decision is so unreasonable. It’s like going to somebody’s house to visit but the wife decides not to receive the guest,” another speculated that the Obama’s might be having marital issues as they seem to vacation apart so often. “Is it possible, like Putin’s family, that the first family in America has some marriage problems?”via Hidden Harmonies China Blog.
Michelle Obama snub angers Chinese
THE US has risked creating a fresh diplomatic row with China after first lady Michelle Obama snubbed meeting new President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.
Barack Obama was due to hold his first discussions with Mr Xi in California last night, as the Chinese President made his first visit to the US.
The discussions between the two world leaders will centre on China’s poor track record of cyber hacking and North Korea’s nuclear energy ambitions.
The talks were overshadowed yesterday when it emerged that Mrs Obama would not attend the Californian summit.
The US first lady blamed the decision on her staying in Washington to celebrate her daughter Sasha’s birthday on the weekend.
However, in China there was outrage that Mrs Peng, considered a major celebrity, had been overlooked. The nation’s army of netizens took to Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, to voice their outrage.
Read More – The Australian.
- Michelle Sends Regrets to Chinese First Lady (whitehousedossier.com)