2007_12_bloombergchina.jpgMayor Bloomberg will be speaking at a United Nations conference in Indonesia, but he made a stop in Beijing first. He said to the audience at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, "Some people believe that by mid-century, as [much] as 75 percent of China's population may be city dwellers. Even an occasional visitor to China, like me, is struck by this rapid urbanization. It is one of the largest internal migrations by people in the history of the world. And unless it is planned for, it could accelerate the already alarming pace of global climate change, as well as other serious environmental challenges."

However, Bloomberg made the suggestion that China should be more environmentally conscious gentler by explaining that China and the U.S. both had to "work together to put the brakes on climate change." You can read the speech here, which begins with Mayor Bloomberg riffing about his mom and saying, "Ni men hao!"

Bloomberg was a little more forceful when telling a different audience in Beijing, "Access to information is a strength, not a threat, and it is a fundamental part of innovation." Human Rights Watch had requested that Bloomberg discuss media restrictions and human rights issues; he explained, "To not address the issue of freedom of information given my background — I would be derelict in my duty." We hope the Chinese take note that he made a lot of money by making information accessible.

The NY Times' Clyde Haberman takes us down memory lane with mention of the last time a NYC mayor went to China - it was 1980 and Mayor Ed Koch loved the bike lanes in China and brought them to New York. We all know how that ended up.

Photograph of Mayor Bloomberg speaking at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing by Oded Balilty/AP