Obama says diversity strength of the U.S.

China ObamaPresident Barack Obama says one of the United States’ strengths is its diversity and a family gathering in his home “looks like the United Nations.”

A Chinese student on Monday asked Obama what he would do to foster diversity. Obama cited his own story as a son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya. He says his sister is half-Indonesia and is married to a Chinese-Canadian husband.

Obama is meeting with young people in Shanghai. He also told the students that education of girls and treatment of women and children is a barometer for a nation’s success. He says the United States respects other traditions and cultures, but will speak out on principles it finds important including women’s and children’s rights.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.