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米歇尔表示访华不谈政治

2014-03-19    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Michelle Obama tries to take the politics out of US-China relations with family trip

去年六月份,米歇尔•奥巴马无缘她丈夫和中国主席之间一次十分重要的“只穿衬衣的峰会”,那次会面本应是中美“第一夫人”第一次会面;习近平主席的妻子是一位优雅的人民解放军歌唱家,与美国第一夫人相比,她在中国具有足够的明星实力。

When Michelle Obama declined to attend a crucial "shirtsleeves" summit between her husband and the newly promoted president of China last June, it was widely seen in Beijing as a stinging political snub.

The meeting was to be an unprecedented pairing of first ladies; Xi Jinping's wife, an elegant People's Liberation Army singer, has enough star power inside China to match her American counterpart.

Nearly nine months later, however, the Chinese public will this week finally get the chance to see the two women together when Mrs Obama takes her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, on a six-day half-term break to China that will be part family getaway, part international soft-power diplomacy.

In her role as first lady, Mrs Obama has always confined herself to ultra-safe areas like winning jobs for veterans, promoting education and espousing healthy eating for children, but she finds herself walking a political tightrope by visiting China.

The trip, which opens in Beijing on Wednesday will include that belated meeting with Mrs Peng, several official visits to schools and universities to highlight the value of US-China educational exchanges, as well as sightseeing trips to the northern city of Xi'an to see the famed terracotta warriors, and to the southern city of Chengdu for an obligatory encounter with a giant panda.
Malia, 13, and Sasha, 9, have been largely screened from public view since their father won the White House, but they will be under the spotlight.

Sasha is known to have studied Mandarin at school, famously testing out her skills as a nine-year-old on the former Chinese President Hu Jintao at a 2011 state dinner, whom she greeted with a 'Ni hao'. China will very likely want to hear if her skills have improved.

However the trip is already raising questions at home over whether Mrs Obama can really carry her assiduously non-political style into an arena as politically charged as US-China relations.

Categorised as an "official visit" on the White House website, Mrs Obama's East Wing staff are at pains to present it as a trip just like any other she has undertaken to Mexico, India or South Africa, inviting schoolchildren across America to email questions which Mrs Obama will answer in a daily blog.

"During my trip, I'll be visiting a university and two high schools in Beijing and Chengdu (which are two of China's largest cities)," she wrote, "I'll be talking with students about their lives in China and telling them about America and the values and traditions we hold dear."

Mrs Obama's decision to try and look past the difficult politics has drawn some unflattering comparisons with her two most recent predecessors, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, who both used their positions to raise the profile of universal rights.

Mrs Obama's trip takes place against the backdrop of a difficult nine months in US-China relations in which many of the hopes expressed at the California summit at Sunnylands – billed as a chance to reset relations with a new Chinese president – proved overstated.

Internationally, things have also been strained since California. It has been noted that Mr Obama will not be stopping in Beijing on his own Asia trip next month, when he will instead visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Those are all nations that are warily eyeing China under Mr Xi which has become newly assertive in its lingering territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, to the point that Washington was forced to send a pair of B-52 bombers through a hastily erected Chinese 'air defence zone' last year.

All of which, Mrs Obama will be resolutely trying to ignore as she travels around China marvelling at pandas, terracotta warriors and the scholarly prowess of – no doubt carefully selected – Chinese schoolchildren.

However, there is already no shortage of acid criticism from the Chinese public using the Internet. "That silly woman," remarked one critic. "Last time when Mr Xi and his wife went to the US, she refused to meet. Now what does she want? Just kick her out."

Others questioned the use of public money, lately a hot-button issue in China because of the current administration's insistence that Chinese officials are seen to lead frugal lives.

"How come the liberals are not criticising the first lady for holidaying on public money? She is even bringing her mother-in-law for heaven's sake!" remarked one.

Yet more saw the trip as some great geopolitical game. "She is trying to win China over to the US so that we do not side with Russia. We should fully support Russia, the Americans are not reliable. They will always want to keep us down."

And when it does comes to policy, the accent will all be on the positives, encouraging people-to-people exchanges such as the official '100,000 Strong Initiative' that aspires to send that number of American students to China – balancing the large numbers of Chinese coming in the opposite direction.


Maintaining her resolutely soft focus from the off, Mrs Obama has been doing her homework by visiting a dual language Mandarin-English charter school in Washington last week where she was warned by the children not to forget her hand sanitiser, expect "super different lavatories" and beware the chicken's feet at dinnertime.

"I have all of these wonderful policy people that help me prep," she told the children, before apparently conceding they were really surplus to requirements. "I'm going to look to you guys to be like my advisers on this trip."(ChinaDaily)

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然而,大约九个月之后,中国大众终于有机会在本周看到两位第一夫人会面了。米歇尔•奥巴马会带着两个女儿,玛丽亚和萨沙,一同来华六天半,作为家庭之旅的一部分,也是软实力外交的一部分。

第一夫人米歇尔•奥巴马一直以来都不把自己封闭在安稳的生活环境中,她为退伍老兵争取工作,促进教育工作发展,提倡儿童健康饮食,但是她认为访华就像在拉紧的政治绳索上行走。

此次访华将于3月19日在北京开启,包括与彭丽媛姗姗来迟的会面,之后会有几次对学校和高校的正式访问,以表对中美教育交流的重视,随后会去北方城市西安看看著名的兵马俑,再到南方成都看看大熊猫。

玛丽亚和萨沙自从她们的父亲赢得选举后一直尽量减少曝光于镜头之下,不过这次她们是焦点。

据说,萨沙曾在学校学习普通话,在2011年的国宴上,为了检验她的中文水平,她用“你好”与前中国主席胡锦涛打招呼。中国也十分想看看她的普通话是否有进步。

然而,此次访华在国内已经引起了一些疑问,米歇尔•奥巴马是否真的能在中美关系这一政治竞技场中履行其一直坚持的非政治形象。

在白宫网站,此次访华定义为“正式访问”,米歇尔•奥巴马的东翼工作人员努力使此次访问与她之前前往墨西哥,印度或南非旅行的性质相同,并在博客中邀请全美国的小学生发邮件说一说米歇尔•奥巴马应该问一些什么问题。

她写道,“这次会去北京一所大学和两所高中,还有成都(这两个城市在中国都是大城市)。我会和学生们聊一聊他们在中国的生活,讲一讲美国,以及我们珍视的价值观和传统”。

米歇尔•奥巴马决定不谈论复杂的政治问题,这一点已经与两位前身、劳拉•布什和希拉里•克林顿形成鲜明对比。

米歇尔•奥巴马此次旅行在中美关系过去九个月相对困难这一背景下开启,而在加利福尼亚阳光之乡表达出了很多美好的愿望,这是一次新的机会与中国新一届主席重新开启新的关系,以表期待。

国际方面来看,自加利福尼亚以来事情变得紧张。据说奥巴马总统不会在下个月的亚洲访问中在北京停脚,相反,他会去日本,韩国,马来西亚和菲律宾。

这些国家都警惕地关注着习近平主席领导下的中国,去年,华盛顿只能派一对B-52轰炸机前往匆忙建立起的东海防空识别区。

总的来说,米歇尔•奥巴马决心忽视这些,而此次旅行的关注点在熊猫,兵马俑和博学勇敢的中国学生身上,毫无疑问是精心选出的。

然而,中国大众网络上也不乏各种刻薄的批评,一个批评说,“这是一个愚蠢的女人,上次习近平主席和夫人去美国时,她拒绝见面。现在她又想要什么啊?把她轰走”。
一些人质疑公共花费的问题,因为最近这在中国是相当敏感的一个话题,因为此届政府坚持中国的官员应当过节俭的生活。

一人评论到,“为什么自由主义者们现在不批判第一夫人用公款来度假了?天哪,她甚至带着她的母亲啊”。

然而,更多的人认为这次旅行是一场地缘政治游戏。“美国希望赢得中国的支持,这样我们就不会站在俄国那边。我们应该完全支持俄国,美国人不可靠。他们只想让我们衰落”。

但是,当谈论到政策时,所有的声音都是积极的,鼓励人与人之间的交流,例如正式的“十万强计划”,致力于鼓励这么多人数的美国学生到中国学习,来平衡大量到美国来学习的中国学生。

为了坚决维持她此次出行成为软焦点,上周她亲自前往华盛顿一所中英双语学校,孩子们嘱咐她别忘了洗手液,期待厕所有大的改变,并注意晚餐的鸡腿卫生。

在表示他们真的担心过多之前,她告诉孩子们,“有很多优秀的人都在帮我做准备,我期待你们可以成为我这次旅行的指导者”。


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