Chinese balancing act: First lady prods Beijing

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WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama has delivered a few pointed messages during her weeklong trip to China.

During a stop in Beijing, Mrs. Obama spoke about the importance of ideas flowing freely over the Internet and through the media.

At a high school in Sichuan province, she spoke of the American belief that "everyone is equal and ... we all have the right to say what we think and worship."

Such messages might draw a yawn in the U.S., but they packed more oomph when delivered halfway around the world in a country that has some of the world's tightest restrictions on the Internet and where ethnic minorities face widespread repression.

In her speeches, the first lady was careful not to explicitly criticize her Chinese hosts.

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