London, June 6 (ANI): US President Barack Obama will fly alone for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this weekend, after Michelle Obama backed out of the trip, preferring to remain in Washington, rather than meet China's first lady.
Communist Party leaders had expected the summit in California to be the perfect opportunity to showcase China's first lady Peng Liyuan, a glamorous singer and military general.
However, Mrs Obama's office said that the first lady would remain in with her daughters who are coming to the end of their academic year, reports Express.co.uk.
According to analysts, Mrs Obama's noticeable absence may be interpreted as a "snub".
Zhang Ming, a political scientist from China's Renmin University, said Mrs Obama's absence would "not go down very well" in Beijing. Ming said first lady diplomacy is also very important and the US side has failed to cooperate. According to normal diplomatic etiquette this is very strange, he said.
The prominence and popularity of China's elegant first lady is previously unknown in the Communist era.
Cheng Li, a senior fellow on China policy at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based research organisation, said the Chinese are "extremely sensitive" and Mrs. Obama's absence "certainly needs some explanation". (ANI)