Changing China

Giant on the move

Obama at the Great Wall

November 18, 2009

Aides say U.S. President Barack Obama really enjoys sightseeing breaks during the hectic schedules of his foreign trips, since they let him clear his head.

The blustery wind on the Great Wall on Wednesday may have helped as well, as Obama broke away from tour guides and walked alone for a few minutes to Badaling’s third watchtower.

Mao said “Bu Dao Changcheng Fei Hao Han” which can mean “You aren’t a great man until you’ve been to the Great Wall” but also implies “You aren’t a good Chinese until you’ve been to the Great Wall.”

Nixon said “I think you would have to conclude that this is a Great Wall and it had to be built by a great people.”

And Obama?

“It’s magical. It reminds you of the sweep of history and our time here on Earth is not that long and we better make the best of it.”

He hadn’t brought a camera, but he did seem reluctant to leave, instead posing for photos with American and Chinese ambassadors.

“It gives you a good perspective on a lot of the day to day things. They don’t amount to much in the scope of history,” Obama added.

Video credit: Jimmy Guan

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