Melania Trump meets China's furry diplomats, hikes Great Wall

AFP
"This is beautiful. This is amazing."
AFP
AFP

US First Lady Melania Trump offers stuffed toy eagles, from the US, to children at the Beijing Zoo in Beijing on November 10, 2017. 

US First Lady Melania Trump hiked the Great Wall and spent some time with a couple of China's most prominent diplomats in Beijing on Friday: the pandas Meng'er and Gu Gu.

While President Donald Trump jetted off to a summit in Vietnam after his state visit to China, his wife stayed behind to see the Beijing Zoo's favourite tenants before heading to the Great Wall.

The former model was greeted by a group of schoolchildren who waved Chinese and American flags and led her to the panda enclosure.

They oohed and aahed as Meng'er crawled on to a platform and began munching bamboo. His name means "Cute No. 2" in Mandarin.

Trump later "interacted privately" with Gu Gu behind-the-scenes, zoo director Li Xiaoguang told reporters.

Born in 1999, Gu Gu is a "good-looking panda with a robust memory," traits that serve him well as "goodwill ambassador of the zoo", Li said.

Gu Gu's name doesn't have a particular meaning, but the repetition of syllables is generally used in China to make names sound adorable.

Trump later visited the Great Wall.

After a short cable car ride, she braved the cold weather to spend about half an hour hiking the refurbished Mutianyu section of the famous fortification.

An official told reporters she had said: "This is beautiful. This is amazing."

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