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Nanjing Road, one of the world's busiest shopping streets.
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Shanghai (上海 pinyin shang4 hai3) is China's largest city and is situated on the banks of the Chang Jiang delta. In China, Shanghai is also known as Hu4 (滬 or 沪) and Shen1 (申). Administratively Shanghai is a municipality ("self-governing city", see Shanghai Municipality) which gives its city government provincial status.

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During the First Opium War in the mid-19th Century, British forces plundered Shanghai. The war ended with the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing, which saw the treaty ports, Shanghai included, opened for international trade. The Treaty of the Bogue[?] signed in 1843, and the Sino-American Treaty of Wangsia[?] signed in 1844 together saw foreign nations achieve extraterritoriality on Chinese soil. The Taiping Rebellion broke out in 1850, and in 1853 Shanghai was occupied by a triad offshoot of the rebels, called the Small Swords Society[?]. The fighting destroyed the countryside but left the foreigners' settlements untouched, and Chinese arrived seeking refuge. Although previously Chinese were forbidden to live in foreign settlements, 1854 saw new regulations drawn up making land available to Chinese. Land prices rose substantially. The year also saw the first annual meeting of the Shanghai Municipal Council[?], substantiated in order to manage the foreign settlements. In 1863, the British and American settlements joined in order to form the International Settlement. The Sino-Japanese War fought 1894-95 over control of Korea concluded with the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which saw Japan emerge as an additional foreign power in Shanghai. Japan built the first factories in Shanghai, which were soon copied by other foreign powers to effect the emergence of Shanghai industry.

Shanghai was the biggest financial city in the Far East. After 1949, however, most foreign firms moved their offices from Shanghai to Hong Kong. During the 1950s and 1960s, Shanghai became an industrial center and center for revolutionary leftism. After the start of Chinese economic reform in the 1980s, Shanghai's role as economic center was eclipsed by southern provinces such as Guangdong who were more free to experiment with economic liberalization. In the 1990s, the central government under Jiang Zemin began to invest heavily in Shanghai in order to both promote it as the economic hub of east Asia and to encourage its role as gateway of investment to the Chinese interior.


Shanghai and Hong Kong have had a recent rivalry over which city is to be the economic center of China. Hong Kong has the advantage of a stronger legal system and greater banking and service expertise. Shanghai has stronger links to the Chinese interior and to the central government in addition to a stronger manufacturing and technology base.

Shanghai now is the biggest and most developed city in China. The official registered population is about 16 million: however it is believed that there is a large unregistered floating population of economic migrants from the Chinese interior which may number several million.

Redevelopment dominates parts of Shanghai. Here twentieth-century housing next to a high school is being demolished to make way for new buildings
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Shanghai is the financial and cultural center of China. It is also developing at a very fast rate, approximately 12 per cent every year.

The local dialect of Shanghai is Shanghainese which is a version of Wu. The official language is Mandarin Chinese.

Shanghai has traditionally been seen as a stepping stone to positions within the Chinese central government. In the 1990s, there was often described a "Shanghai clique" which included the General Secretary Jiang Zemin and the premier Zhu Rongji. Shanghainese people have been stereotyped by other Chinese as being pretentious, arrogant, and morally untrustworthy. In turn, the Shanghainese stereotype other Chinese as being uncultured country bumpkins.

Shanghai is bisected by the Huangpu River[?]. Puxi is the old city, while development since the 1990s has been focused in Pudong[?]. Shanghai has two international airports, Hongqiao and Pudong. It also has an excellent public transportation system and in contrast to other major Chinese cities has clean streets and surprisingly little air pollution.

Since the return of the Hong Kong territory to China, Shanghai has increased its role in finance, banking, and as a major destination for corporate headquarters, fueling demand for a highly educated and westernized workforce.

The tallest structure in China, the distinctive Oriental Pearl Tower, is located in Shanghai. The Jin Mao tower located nearby is mainland China's tallest skycraper.

Shanghai will be the host of Expo 2010[?], a world's fair.


Three railways intersect in Shanghai: Beijing-Shanghai Railway (京滬), Shanghai-Hangzhou Railway (滬杭), and Xiaoshan-Ningpo[?] (蕭甬 xiao1 yong3).


Colleges and Universities

See also: Shanghai cuisine

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