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Subject: FLOTUS pool report xi’an city wall

Advance warning, this being written on I phone, so apologies for abundant typos. And right at top:,word certainly spread about Flotus in downtown xi’an. Big crowds on sidewalks as she left city wall complex, three and four deep for a number of blocks. Event below marred for press by obnoxious chinese advance man screaming and shoving us behind his ever moving red tape line.
Family welcomed by tall spear carrying men dressed in warrior costumes from Tang Dynasty, 618 to 907 AD. A tour guide from the city administration, Yu Dahu, told pool reporter that he explained history of the wall dating from Ming dynasty, 14th century. It,s 40 feet tall took eight years to build. It forms a large courtyard, and a series of steps leads to the top of the wall where there is a wide walkway, and a bell tower. On the walkway at the top of the wall, Flotus and family watched a demo of jump rope and shuttlecock kicking by students from the northwest polytechnic university high school. Flotus accepted invitation to jump rope, doffed kitten heels for flats and did a few turns with the rope. She gamely kicked a shuttlecock …. Very pretty with yellow pink and red feathers – with the side of her foot, the technique shown to her by a chinese instructor. Flotus and girls given some gifts : Rubik cubes (signify wisdom said Mr Yu, and some paper dragons and phoenixes. She spoke informally to the chinese students – dressed in track suits – for their jump rope demo. According to Mr Yu she encouraged them to go to the US for study. Flotus and family spent some time inside the tower, but no info from her office or anywhere else on what went on inside. They then descended stairs to courtyard and watched a troupe of folk dancers, w Flotus and malia swaying to the music, mostly drums.
One historical note: Mr Yu told pool reporter that Xi Jinping’s father saved this city wall in 1951 when during the general frenzy by the newly victorious Communists to pull everything old down, he ordered the Xi’an wall to be saved. Xi’s father. Xi Zhongxun, was military administrator of Shaanxi Province, of which Xi”an is the capital. Mr Yu said he was was guide to Bill Clinton during his visit to Xi’an in late 90s.
Pool in motorcade and we are heading to airport for flight to chengdu where Flotus spends Tuesday and Wednesday, and leaves from there back to the US.

Jane Perlez
New York Times

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