Anyway,some of you have come from very far away. So welcome to New York. One thing I wouldask you to do while you are here is to spend a lot of money, because we needthe tax revenues. Even though we do not have to pay for an Olympics that iscoming here, which we wish we had to do, but we did not work out that way. Ijust want to on behalf of the 8.3 million people in this city to welcomeyou.
The Committee of 100 should be complimented for everything they do and it’s reallyan honor for me that you ask me to come, because it’s only two decades this organization has become an important voice for the Chinese communities in America and really it focuses on promoting understanding between the US and China, and encouraging Asianand American leaders of today and tomorrow.And we are proud that some of these leaders are living and working right herein New York. You see their influence in every area of life, from Wall Street toour city council, from the concert halls, museums to the city’s skyline. I, um…right now, my company just move into the building designed by a Brazilianarchitect, but before that we lived in the building designed by a Chinesearchitect. And it was a great building but we eventually outgrow it. But wehave one of my former landlords here, Ronnie Chan from Hong Kong. Oh, I told Henry Crumb that Ronnie overcharged us every year I cantell.
Anyway,one in ten New Yorkers can trace their ancestry to Asia or to the pacificisland, it really just tells you how diverse our city is. When I came hereyears ago, I was determined to make sure that I had a chance to raise my kidsin the city that really was international and was the kind of the city that wasgoing to survive in the 21st century. We are doing everything we can to makesure that New York remains the beacon to people around the world who want tohave the opportunity to be in control of their destiny, take care of theirfamilies and we are building, for example, record number of schools here. Weare building affordable housing in this city for 500,000 people. Five hundredthousand people is more than lived in Atlantic, Georgia. We have our publicschool system of 1.1 million kids. That’s more people than live in Detroit,Michigan. So the city is very big, and it’s … and the scale keeps growing. Weare going to add more people in this decade than live in Pittsburgh. But thething that perhaps tells you the most about New York city and differentiates itfrom other cities clearly—cities like Beijing, equally large in size. Butthat’s the diversity of New York that really is unique. The parents of ourpublic school kids speak 170 different languages, which just tells you that, you know, when somebody says write a letter home to your Chinese parents, it’s not so easy to writethat letter. Some of those 170 languages do not have a written dialect with them.But we … the immigration here is the city’s greatest strength. Other placesfind immigrants threatening and don’t realize, don’t think they get a greatdeal of value. In New York City, if immigrants stop coming here, this city would die. And in fact it’s great strength from Pilgrim days or Dutch days when it was formed until now, it’s always been that every year we welcome hundreds ofthousands of people to this city, who want to come and live here. And last year,we have 44 million people from around the world who came here as tourists. SoNew York continues to grow and our economy continues to grow, because our unemployment rate is at a recordlow. Our murder rate is at a record low, crime rate record low. But the goodnews is our life expectancy is at a modern-day high. And our education systemhas a graduation rate at high school of record high. There are a lot of goodthings going on in this city and a lot of it is because people come from Asia Pacificregion to help us.
So I just want to welcome everybody. You can just rest assured that the Chinesecommunities in this city are doing well. Business is thriving. They are havingfamilies and the kids are going to public schools for the 1st time and longtime and really getting a good education. We are doing the right things,perhaps no better time than the year of Pig, some say it’s the “Golden Year”for us to celebrate the friendship that has gone on for a long time. And since 9-11, this city really has recovered and I just want all of youtonight, when you think about it before you go to bed and turn out the lights.Those people living in New York, I think, are the luckiest people in the world.We are not taking anything away from those living elsewhere, but New York isreally something that you need and we are proud of it.
And thank you to the Committee of 100, it’s really a distinguished organizationwith a great mission. You are doing a wonderful job. So enjoy the lunch andenjoy the conference and we see you and perhaps you invite me back next year.Come. Good-bye! Thank you.