Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to . You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
As the Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, I had the privilege of joining Mrs. Obama on her recent visit to China as she participated in official meetings and ceremonies, toured historical sites with her mother and daughters, and spoke to Chinese and American students. I was honored to meet Madame Peng, the First Lady of China, who joined Mrs. Obama on her first day in Beijing, and along with her husband, President Xi, graciously hosted the First Lady and her family for a wonderful dinner and performance at The Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. I was moved to watch the First Lady and her family enjoying landmarks that have played such a crucial role in China's history, from the Great Wall, to the Forbidden City, to the Terra Cotta Warriors.
As a Chinese American, it was a special honor to be a part of this historic trip. My parents immigrated to the United States from China in 1949 and settled in Cleveland, Ohio where they raised me and my sister. Our family visited my parents' birthplace in the 1970s, a period during which China hardly had any contact with the Western world. In the pre-Skype era, where a long-distance, landline call to relatives back in China was impossible, China and Cleveland felt as though they were worlds apart.
I went to China again in the late 1990s to adopt my daughter, Emma, and I was overwhelmed by how things had changed in just two decades—there were more cars on the road and western businesses around every corner. And on my most recent visit—as we drove through the streets of Beijing, Xi'an, and Chengdu, and met with young people in each of these cities—I was struck by how much more interconnected our world is today.
For example, during her visit, Mrs. Obama had the opportunity to speak with Chinese and American students studying together at the Stanford Center at Peking University. These students aren't just improving their Chinese and English—they're forming enthusiastic friendships that will endure long after they graduate from college. These kind of relationships were unthinkable just a couple of generations ago, and the more time we spent with young people in China, both Chinese and American alike, the more hopeful and optimistic I felt about the role they would play as future leaders of my daughter's generation. As the First Lady reminded all of us in one of her speeches in China, "...we believe that relationships between nations aren't just about relationships between governments or leaders. They're about relationships between people, particularly our young people."
During our long flight home, I thought about my parents—people who came from China as immigrants—and how proud they would have been to see me returning, just a generation later, with the First Lady of the United States (and hopefully, once again in the near future, with their granddaughter!).
Clarifying Shampoos to Banish Build-Up
Because nobody has time for lank hair or an itchy, irritated scalp.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
The Biggest Fall Trends, Straight From the Runways
And just like that, we're back.
By Sara Holzman
Here’s the Trick Kate Middleton Uses to Look So Good in Photos
A royal style expert gives the scoop.
By Rachel Burchfield
30 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, show them these statistics.
By Megan Friedman
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein
Want to Fight for Abortion Rights in Texas? Raise Your Voice to State Legislators
Emily Cain, executive director of EMILY's List and and former Minority Leader in Maine, says that to stop the assault on reproductive rights, we need to start demanding more from our state legislatures.
By Emily Cain
Your Abortion Questions, Answered
Here, MC debunks common abortion myths you may be increasingly hearing since Texas' near-total abortion ban went into effect.
By Rachel Epstein
The Future of Afghan Women and Girls Depends on What We Do Next
Between the U.S. occupation and the Taliban, supporting resettlement for Afghan women and vulnerable individuals is long overdue.
By Rona Akbari
How to Help Afghanistan Refugees and Those Who Need Aid
With the situation rapidly evolving, organizations are desperate for help.
By Katherine J Igoe
It’s Time to Give Domestic Workers the Protections They Deserve
The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, reintroduced today, would establish a new set of standards for the people who work in our homes and take a vital step towards racial and gender equity.
By Ai-jen Poo
The Biden Administration Announced It Will Remove the Hyde Amendment
The pledge was just one of many gender equity commitments made by the administration, including the creation of the first U.S. National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.
By Megan DiTrolio