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  You are here: Home > China Travels News > US First Lady steals the limelight from pandas on visit to China research centre

Posted: April 2, 2014  By: SplendidChinaTours.Com

The pandas are usually the stars of the show at Chengdu's Giant Panda Research Base, but on Wednesday Michelle Obama stole the limelight as she visited the centre. Obama, who is travelling with her mother and daughters, visited the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in the southwestern province of Sichuan.  There, the Obamas viewed a 22-year-old grandmother panda named Lili as well as five young pandas, according to base staff. Pictures showed the First Lady using a long stick to pass apples to some of the black and white bears in a grassy enclosure.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, second from right, walks with her daughters Sasha, right, Malia, second from left, and her mother Marian Robinson at the Giant Panda Research Base. Photo: AP

The reserve - which was closed to the public for the first family's visit - is home to nearly 80 giant pandas, as well as a colony of red pandas.  Obama and her family had lunch at a Tibetan restaurant in Chengdu, a choice that "was in accordance with (Obama's) interest in the rights of minorities in China", according to White House staff. The dishes served at the Zangxiang Teahouse featured a heavy emphasis on yak, including yak butter tea, yak soup, yak meat pies and boiled yak ribs. Sichuan and other provinces neighbouring Tibet are home to a minority of Tibetans.

Photo: AP

"In America, we believe that no matter where you live or how much money your parents have - or what race or religion or ethnicity you are - if you work hard and believe in yourself, then you should have a chance to succeed," she told the crowd. "We also believe that everyone is equal, and that we all have the right to say what we think and worship as we choose," she said.

Source: SCMP

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