First Lady Talks Freedom of Speech on China Trip

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News,World

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama told students in China, which has some of the world's tightest restrictions on the Internet, that freedom of speech and unfettered access to information make countries stronger and should be universal rights. (March 22)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Beijing, China - March 22, 2014

1. Various of First Lady Michelle Obama talking to students

2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States: (transcript below)

3. Cutaways at event

4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States: (transcript below)

5. Various of Mrs. Obama, Sasha, Malia and others at Chinese Opera performance

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OMAMA TOLD STUDENTS IN CHINA ON SATURDAY THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION MAKES COUNTRIES STRONGER, AND SHOULD BE UNIVERSAL RIGHTS.

SOUNDBITE: (English) Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States: "Because that's how we discover the truth, that's how we learn what's really happening in our communities, our country and our world. And that's how we decide which values and ideas we think are best - by questioning and debating them vigorously."

MRS. OBAMA IS ON A WEEK-LONG VISIT, AIMED AT PROMOTING EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGES BETWEEN THE U.S. AND CHINA - A COUNTRY THAT OFTEN BLOCKS MANY FOREIGN NEWS AND SOCIAL MEDIA SITES.

SOUNDBITE: (English) Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States: "My husband and I are on the receiving end of plenty of questioning and criticism from our media and our fellow citizens, and it's not always easy, but we wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."

THE TRIP ISN'T ALL SCHOOLS AND SPEECHES. THE FIRST LADY IS TRAVELING WITH HER TWO DAUGHTERS AND HER MOTHER. SO THERE'S PLENTY OF SIGHT-SEEING PLANNED AS WELL.

THEY ATTENDED A SHORT OPERA AT BEIJING'S SUMMER PALACE ON SATURDAY, ACCOMPANIED BY A GROUP OF STUDENTS VISITING FROM THE U-S.

THE ITINERARY ALSO INCLUDES THE GREAT WALL, THE TERRA COTTA WARRIORS IN XIAN, AND A PANDA BREEDING FACILITY IN CHENGDU.

HANNAH BUCHDAHL, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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