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Washington (AFP) – U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will make a first visit to China between March 19 and 26 and finally meet her Chinese counterpart Peng Liyuan.

Obama had been expected to meet Peng in June last year when her husband President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping held a mini-summit in California, but she was held up in Washington.

On her upcoming trip, she will be accompanied by her daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, and her mother Marian Robinson.

Peng, 51, was a popular folk singer in China before her marriage to Xi, and is now dean of the People’s Liberation Army art academy.

According to the White House, 50-year-old Obama’s visits will focus on “the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.”

Her preliminary itinerary foresees a stay in Beijing from March 20 to 23, followed by a stop in Chengdu on March 25 and 26.

She will visit high schools in both cities, as well as a university in the capital.

Obama encouraged students in the United States to follow her trip by signing up for updates while she’s on the road.

“I’ll be posting a daily travel blog, complete with videos and photos, and I’ll be taking — and answering — questions from kids across America as I go,” she wrote in a message to school children.

More details about the trip are to be released in the coming weeks.

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.