First Ladies of the United States and China – The first ladies of the two most powerful countries in the world are spending a day together in Beijing. Both women are uniquely admired for their sense of style and established careers before their husbands became presidents.
First Ladies of the United States and China – A visible first lady, Michelle Obama has worked on issues of military families and improving diet and exercise. She staunchly campaigned in the re-election efforts of her husband, U.S. President Barack Obama. She has also graced several magazine covers, famous for her personal style and her well-defined arms.
First Ladies of the United States and China – Peng Liyuan commands a popularity as first lady that has been unheard of in China since the days of Soong Ching Ling, the wife of Sun Yat Sen, founding father of the Republic of China. Her celebrity and sharp sartorial sense lends unique glamor to the long invisible role of the Chinese president's wife.
First Ladies of the United States and China – Michelle Obama will visit a school with Peng Liyuan and have a private dinner. Obama is also bringing her daughters and her mother on the trip to China, where they will stop by several educational and cultural site including the Great Wall and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
First Ladies of the United States and China – Peng and Obama's backgrounds draw many parallels. One year apart in age, both have young daughters and both came from modest families. Peng was born in Yuncheng, a rural county in coastal Shandong Province. Her mother was a singer and her father was a bureaucrat. She joined the People's Liberation Army at 18 as a civilian and became a household name as a folksinger, long before her husband took over the country's leadership.
First Ladies of the United States and China – Daughter of a pump operator and a stay-at-home mom, Michelle Obama attended Chicago public schools, Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She worked at Chicago's City Hall and the University of Chicago before her husband became more involved in politics.
First Ladies of the United States and China – Peng frequently accompanies her husband on official trips, but also campaigns her own causes. She is a World Health Organisation ambassador, promoting awareness of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. She recently appeared in a short promotional film where she holds and plays with Chinese children infected with HIV, combating discrimination against patients.
First Ladies of the United States and China – Michelle Obama attends a service event with her husband and daughters, Sasha and Malia. Obama is the face of the Let's Move! campaign tackling childhood obesity in the United States.
First Ladies of the United States and China – Both ladies have been admired for their sense of personal style. Peng has been named one of Vanity Fair's best dressed in its international poll in 2013. Obama has several style blogs that breathlessly follow her sartorial choices.
First Ladies of the United States and China – While other U.S. first ladies, including Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton, raised concerns over China's human rights records during their trips to the country, Obama will not. Her agenda pushes youth education and people-to-people cultural exchange between the U.S. and China. Online fans of Peng hope that the Chinese first lady will one day sing for her U.S. counterpart.