Panda Diplomacy & Citizen Diplomats – Key Highlights of The First Lady’s Recent Visit to China

U.S.-Chinese relations took an unusual turn last week as Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, travelled to Beijing, Chengdu, and Xi’an as part of a goodwill visit to the People’s Republic of China. Trip highlights included playing ping pong with Beijing high school students; touring the Forbidden City with Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping; exploring the Great Wall with her daughters; and promoting her “Let’s Move!” campaign by practicing tai chi and jumping rope with Chinese youth. On their last day in China, the Obama girls made a special trip to visit one of the...

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In the Works: Meridian’s Upcoming Exhibition on U.S.-China Relations

On January 29, 1979, President Jimmy Carter, President Richard Nixon, and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping commemorated the beginning of a new era in U.S.-China relations, referred to as “normalization,” at an official state dinner here in Washington, D.C. This momentous occasion  ̶  documented in the above photograph  ̶  was a celebration of the endeavors of all three men to put aside political differences, reflect on the nearly 200 years of collective history, and formally renew the friendship that had been equally significant for both countries. Continue  

Cultural Diplomacy at Meridian

Cultural Diplomacy helps countries and their people to better understand each other at the most basic human level. Cultural elements – such as language, cuisine, art, and music – inform people’s identities around the world. Comprehending these leads to genuine interactions and fosters long-term friendships. By learning more about other cultures, we can gain new insights and build mutual respect with international and subnational partners. Culture is the neutral platform that creates an environment of trust and respect from which we can address difficult issues and seek common ground. Continue