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Michelle planning solo visit to China

MICHELLE Obama plans a week-long solo visit to China this month that includes meetings with the country's First Lady and high school and university students.

In an announcement aimed at young people on the White House blog, the wife of President Barack Obama says a visit to China is important because it plays such a huge role on the world stage.

The White House announced that Mrs Obama will travel from March 19 to 26.

Her schedule includes a meeting with Peng Liyuan, the wife of China's president Xi Jinping.

Mrs Obama said countries today are no longer isolated and are facing many of the same challenges, whether it is to provide students with a good education, combat hunger, poverty and disease or address threats such as climate change.

"These issues affect every last one of us, so it's critically important that young people like you learn about what's going on not just here in America but around the world," Mrs Obama wrote.