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First Lady Feeds Pandas on Final Day of China Visit

Michelle Obama's itinerary, which also included a visit to a Tibetan restaurant, prompts murmurs about "political overtones".
Image: Michelle Obama
First lady Michelle Obama, left, and her mother Marian Robinson, right, feed apples to giant pandas during their visit to the Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China, on March 26, 2014.Petar Kujundzic / AP

First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters visited a reserve for giant pandas on Wednesday, the final day of their week-long tour of China.

Obama, who was also accompanied by her mother, Marian Robinson, tried to feed apples to a group of pandas using a long stick.

Michelle Obama and her daughters Maila and Sasha arrive at the Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu in China's Sichuan province on March 26, 2014.PETER PARKS / AFP - Getty Images
A giant panda eats bamboo at the Giant Panda Research Base.PETER PARKS / AFP - Getty Images

The family later lunched at a Tibetan restaurant in the city of Chengdu, prompting murmurs about "political overtones" on Chinese social networks.

The restaurant was chosen because of the first lady's interest in the rights of minorities in China, a member of Obama's staff said, according to a pool report.

Image: First Lady Michelle Obama Travels to China - Day 7
Michelle Obama is presented with a ceremonial white scarf at a Tibetan restaurant in Chengdu.Feng Li / Getty Images

A group of Tibetan students gave the family ceremonial white scarves, symbolizing purity in Tibetan culture.

The Obamas were served traditional foods, including yak meat pie, boiled yak ribs, bread made with barley and yak butter tea.

— Reuters contributed to this report

Michelle Obama spins Tibetan prayer wheels outside a restaurant in Chengdu.PETAR KUJUNDZIC / AFP - Getty Images