Michelle Obama and daughters hike the Great Wall during state visit
24 MARCH 2014Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha took time out of their state trip to China to soak in the sights.
The First Lady was pictured wondering the Great Wall with her teenage children — Malia, 15, and 12-year-old Sasha.
While the trio had left father and US president Barack Obama at home, Michelle and her girls huddled together for a sweet photo which was captured by Michelle's team. "Sharing a moment at the Great Wall," it was captioned.
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Opting for an all-black ensemble, Michelle, 50, dressed casual as she walked along the Mutianyu stretch of the wall and enjoyed the breathtaking views of the mountains around her. Eldest daughter Malia looked chic in a white top and high-waisted black trousers, while Sasha dressed down in a baggy slogan t-shirt and black jeans.
The trio were left to explore the historic landmark as their bodyguards followed closely behind and Chinese police officers watched on from the side. Michelle's mother Marian Robinson, who was also travelling with the group, opted out of the hike and admired the scenery from a viewing platform.
The First family touched down last Thursday and are halfway through their week-long trip, which focuses on "the power and importance of education." Michelle is hoping to promote cultural exchanges between the US and China.
Early on in the trip, Michelle and her daughters were warmly welcomed by Chinese president Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. Peng was tasked with guiding the family around Beijing and some of the city's most famous spots, including the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.
As a keen campaigner of education, Michelle and her daughters also paid a visit to the Beijing Normal School, which prepares students to attend university abroad.
Michelle met students there and eagerly got involved in their extra-curricular activities, as she was pictured playing ping pong and trying her hand at calligraphy.
During a visit to the Stanford Centre at Peking University, the First Lady made the bold move of discussing freedom of speech and censorship on the internet.
Speaking in front of about 200 students, who were a mix of Chinese and American pupils, Michelle spoke about the values of study-abroad programmes, and graciously called for more freedom in a country where Twitter and Facebook are blocked.
"It is so important for information and ideas to flow freely over the internet and through the media," she said. "My husband and I are on the receiving end of plenty of questioning and criticism from our media and our fellow citizens, and it's not always easy. But I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
"Because that’s how we discover the truth, that’s how we learn what’s really happening in our communities, in our country and our world. When it comes to expressing yourself freely, and worshipping as you choose, and having open access to information, we believe those are universal rights that are the birthright of every person on this planet."
After her candid speech, Michelle happily posed for selfies and photos with the students who had flocked around her.