Unharmonious First Lady?

Michelle Obama‘s absence from the American-Chinese summit in California was a diplomatic misstep, Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at  the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, argued on Foreign Policy  (behind a registration wall, possibly). Her absence was an own-goal, Drezner believes, because this was one of the rather few occasions where she could really have  mattered in the world of politics. Too many Chinese might be disappointed that America’s first lady didn’t meet up with China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan.

Reportedly, Mrs Obama wanted to stay in Washington, to celebrate the birthday of one of her daughters.

Isaac Stone Fish disagreed with Drezner’s criticism. He referred to the songs Peng used to sing in full PLA gear, and especially this song, where she pretended to be Tibetan, lauding the PLA for “liberating” Tibet.

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Related

» Domestic Responsibilities, SMH, June 7, 2013
» The only Disharmony, May 27, 2013

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3 Comments to “Unharmonious First Lady?”

  1. Michelle did right. If I had to choose between having a dinner with a dictator and celebrating my daughter’s birthday, it would definitely be the latter.

  2. Same here – and I find it hard to decide if Mrs Obama stayed away for “political” reasons, or for family reasons. Either way, she did the right thing.

  3. Anyway, nothing is as good or bad as first reported:

    Mrs Obama reportedly wrote a handwritten letter to Mr Xi’s wife, Peng Liyuan, to say she was looking forward to bringing her daughters to visit China in future.

    I think we can put our minds at ease now.

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