Politics

Melania Trump reflects on Asia trip, past year

Met her counterparts in Japan, South Korea, China

MUTIANYU, China (CNN) - No visit to China would be complete without seeing the Great Wall, which is exactly how first lady Melania Trump wrapped her first-ever trip to Asia. Stopping before she went to the top, Trump spoke exclusively with CNN about her six-day tour of the region, specifically how she felt seeing her first lady counterparts in Japan, South Korea and China.

"We had a great time, it was nice to see them again," said Trump of Akie Abe of Japan, Madam Kim Jung-sook of South Korea and Madam Peng Liyuan of China.

"They were in the United States before and we have a great relationship with all three of them," she said.

Trump spent several hours with each woman during her stops, visiting schools, participating in cultural activities and being hosted at elaborate State Dinners. Asked if she discussed her nascent platform -- helping children live better lives -- with her Asian counterparts, Trump said it was one of the topics they shared.

"We did, we did. We did exchange what they're working on and what I will work on and what my passion is," Trump said.

She also shared what her time as first lady has been like at the one-year anniversary of her husband's election.

"Well, it's my honor to be a first lady of the United States, and it was a very busy year," said Trump, smiling as she recounted what life is like now.

"We love to live in Washington, we have a very busy life. It's exciting, as well," she said.

Exciting is an accurate description for Trump, who as a Slovenian immigrant and a former fashion model, likely never anticipated that one day she would be holding the iconic position.

"It's a lot of things that we need to take care of, and a lot of responsibilities," said Trump, "And it's all part of being the first lady."

With that, Trump climbed aboard a rattling cable car for the steep ride up to the top of a mountain, where she posed for pictures in front of the assembled press, accepted a ceremonial scroll, and then turned and walked, alone, along the Great Wall of China.