The President Wraps Up Trip in Burma, Heads to Australia

President Obama Walks Toward Air Force One in Burma

President Barack Obama walks towards Air Force One past honor guards and a group of representatives from Burmese ethnic groups before departing from Naypyitaw International Airport in Burma. November 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama has spent the week traveling in China, Burma, and Australia to help further the U.S. rebalancing strategy and his firm belief that our economic ties to the Asia Pacific region are integral to America's economic growth.

After securing a historic agreement with China to reduce carbon pollution, the President traveled to Naypyitaw and Rangoon, Burma for the East Asia Summit, the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, and for a bilateral meeting with Burmese President Thein Sein. 

Two years ago, President Obama became the first American president to visit this country. On this visit, both Presidents discussed the progress that Burma has made in the pursuit of a more open democracy and the work that's left to do: 

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President Obama Heads to Beijing, Kicking Off Trip to Asia and Australia

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One to a red carpet welcome on arrival at Capital International Airport in Beijing

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One to a red carpet welcome on arrival at Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, Nov. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Over the weekend, President Obama headed to Beijing to kick off his sixth trip to Asia as President -- and his second trip to Asia this year.

The trip -- which will also include stops in Burma and Australia -- will underscore the President's deep commitment to his Asia rebalancing strategy, and will reiterate his firm belief that America's trade and investment ties to Asia are critical to our future economic growth and the creation of American jobs.

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The First Lady’s Travel Journal: Visiting the Xi’an City Wall

Note: This post is part of a series authored by First Lady Michelle Obama to share her visit to China with young people in the U.S. You can read all of the First Lady's posts at WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Trip.

First Lady Michelle Obama jumps rope on her visit to the Xi'an City Wall with Sasha, Malia and Marian Robinson in Xi'an, China

First Lady Michelle Obama jumps rope on her visit to the Xi'an City Wall with Sasha, Malia and Marian Robinson in Xi'an, China on March 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

After seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors outside of Xi’an, we returned to the city to view the Xi’an City Wall.

The Xi’an City Wall is the oldest and largest surviving wall of its kind in China.  It’s a 40-foot tall rectangle that stretches for 8.5 miles.  At its base, the Wall is 50 or 60 feet wide.  At the top, it’s about 40 feet wide – wide enough for Xi’an residents and tourists to run, walk, or ride a bike around (it takes about four hours to walk the entire distance at a leisurely pace).  From the wall you can see the ancient Bell Tower, a beautiful building which marks the center of the ancient city.

Xi’an was once China’s capital city, and even after the capital was relocated, the city remained an important military stronghold for centuries.  Just like the Great Wall, the Xi’an City Wall was originally built for defense, with watchtowers and even a deep moat and drawbridges.  Parts of the wall date back to the seventh century, and the wall we know today was completed in the 14th century.  Since then, it has been refurbished three times – roughly once every two hundred years – in the late 1500s, the late 1700s and, most recently, in 1983.

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The First Lady’s Travel Journal: Seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors in X’ian

Note: This post is part of a series authored by First Lady Michelle Obama to share her visit to China with young people in the U.S. You can read all of the First Lady's posts at WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Trip.

This morning we left Beijing and flew for about two hours to Xi’an, a city of more than 7 million people in central China.  If Xi’an were in America, it would be the second-largest city in the country – trailing only New York City – but in China, a nation of more than 1 billion people, Xi’an isn’t even in the top ten.

After we arrived at the Xi’an Airport, we traveled to see the Terra Cotta Warriors, an underground army of thousands of life-sized soldiers made from terra cotta clay. These sculptures were hand-made over 2,000 years ago.  They surround the tomb of China’s first emperor, and it’s believed that they were created to protect him in the afterlife.

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