As Trump visits Vietnam, Melania walks alone at Great Wall

No visitors were allowed at The Great Wall China due to Melania's visit. President Trump tweeted saying that his wife would later fly to Alaska to meet with US troops.

Melania Trump at the Great Wall

While the first lady is in China, the US leader is in Vietnam for an Asia-Pacific summit and he will then head to the Philippines on Sunday for the final leg of his five-nation tour of Asia.

(Photograph:AFP)

No visitors allowed

No visitors were allowed at The Great Wall China due to Melania's visit. President Trump tweeted saying that his wife would later fly to Alaska to meet with US troops.

(Photograph:AFP)

Forbidden City

China treated the Trumps to a lavish state visit with a private tour of the Forbidden City on Wednesday and a banquet dinner on Thursday.

(Photograph:AFP)

President Trump did not visit the Great Wall of China

Donald Trump, who wants to build his own massive wall along the US-Mexico border to stem illegal immigration, did not visit the Great Wall, despite it being a usual stop for US presidents.

(Photograph:AFP)

Gu Gu behind-the-scenes

Melania was greeted by a group of school children 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.

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

(Photograph:AFP)

"This is amazing"

The first lady 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."

(Photograph:AFP)

Melania's Panda diplomacy

In 2015, former US first lady Michelle Obama and her Chinese counterpart, Peng Liyuan, chose the name for Bei Bei, a panda cub born at the National Zoo in Washington.

Pandas, whose natural habitat lies in mountainous southwestern China, have a notoriously low reproductive rate and are under pressure from factors such as habitat loss.

(Photograph:AFP)

US first lady with at the Beijing Zoo

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.

Beijing has cultivated a global fascination with pandas as part of its diplomacy by sending the animals to overseas zoos where they have proven a wildly popular draw.

(Photograph:AFP)

Zoo's favorite tenants

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 favorite tenants before heading to the Great Wall.

(Photograph:AFP)

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