the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Message from First Lady Michelle Obama to the United States-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange

I am pleased to send my warmest greetings to all those gathered at the opening of the fifth round of the United States-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Beijing, China.  I would like to send my thanks to President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Liu Yandong, and the entire Chinese delegation for hosting the United States’ delegation this year.

I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank President Xi, Madame Peng, and the Chinese people for their gracious hospitality during my recent visit to China.  In conversations with Madame Peng – as well as with students, teachers and others from across China – I gained a deep appreciation for the shared aspirations of people in both of our countries.  I saw firsthand the importance of continuing to strengthen the bonds between our peoples – the foundation upon which the U.S.-China relationship is built. 

Over the past five years, we have collaborated on a number of important initiatives.  Through the CPE, our two countries have encouraged Chinese and American women to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers through the Young Scientist Forum.  The Fulbright program and other educational opportunities have helped foster the highest numbers of exchange students and scholars in the history of both our countries.  The NBA Yao School opened in February in Beijing to promote youth development on and off basketball courts, and the NBA will also lead a youth-exchange at the 2014 World Youth Olympic Games in August.  The U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Paralympic Committee and the Special Olympics have continued to forge relationships with their Chinese counterparts to promote access to every level of sport for all people. 

By strengthening the bonds between our two nations, you all are playing a critical role in building our relationship for future generations.  I wish you every success in these efforts, and I hope you have a productive and enjoyable event.