The ex-president of the United States, George W. Bush who firstly visited Shanghai 26 years ago, once said meaningfully Shanghai comes back again! When he shortly stayed in Shanghai, he told the world-renowned magnates in business circles that the miraculous change and dreamlike development of Shanghai in all aspects has showed the success, creativity and versatility of Chinese people, Shanghai's local government and great leaders of China. He also uttered excitedly It is so unbelievable that I do not know how to depict my visiting experiences on the way from Pudong International Airport to the downtown Shanghai for American people, and I totally believe such kind of impression and feeling I have is shared by many others who also visited this changing city. Shanghai people are truly deserved to be proud of their own home.
This is Shanghai characterized of vitality and prosperousness, which thoroughly draw more and more peoples' eyes, particularly those foreigners who are fond of oriental culture and China, because Shanghai has been the center of Chinese economy and the largest port around the world after 1978. It also functions as the window for foreigners learning of China and bridges the world with China. Hence, summarily if a traveler wants to visit China, Shanghai undoubtedly is his/her priority and first choice other than the some other typical cities in China.
Shanghai locates in the alluvial plain of Yangtze River, renowned for the river named Shanghaipu, the anabranch of Wusong River. In the era of Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C), Shanghai was under the control of Wu State. At the days of Warring States(475-221B.C), some local fisherfolk invented the halieutics tools named as Hu, and then called this region as Hudu, furthermore, in order to guard against pirates, the local government built ramparts along the coast, therefore shanghai was called Hu for short. Shanghai was reputed as the convenient ferry in Yangtze River and Eastern Ocean, the well-marked Center in southeastern China. Another saying goes like this if you want to learn two-thousand-year history of China, please visit Xian. If you want to learn one-thousand-year history of China, Please visit Beijing. If you are interested in one-hundred-year history of China, please visit Shanghai. Shanghai as the mirror of the modern China possesses of the rich and massive historical records and it is also added a more particular aurola as the birthplace of Chinese Communist Party.
Brief History of Shanghai. Shanghai, which literally means the "City on the Sea", lies on the Yangtze River delta at the point where China's main waterway completes its 5,500-km (3,400-mi) journey to the Pacific. Until 1842 Shanghai's location made it merely a small fishing village. After the first Opium War, however, the British named Shanghai a treaty port, opening the city to foreign involvement.
The village was soon turned into a city carved up into autonomous concessions administered concurrently by the British, French, and Americans, all independent of Chinese law. Each colonial presence brought with it its particular culture, architecture, and society.
Although Shanghai had its own walled Chinese city, many native residents still chose to live in the foreign settlements. Thus began a mixing of cultures that shaped Shanghai's openness to Western influence. Shanghai became an important industrial center and trading port that attracted not only foreign businesspeople (60,000 by the 1930s) but also Chinese migrants from other parts of the country.
The Paris of the East became known as a place of vice and indulgence. Amid this glamour and degradation, Chinese Communist Party held its first meeting in 1921. In the 1930s and 40s, the city weathered raids, invasions, then outright occupation by the Japanese. The party was over. By 1943, at the height of World War II, most foreigners had fled and the concessions had been ceded to the Japanese, bringing Shanghai's 101 years as a treaty port to a close. Despite the war's end, fighting continued as Nationalists and Communists fought a three-year civil war for control of China. The Communists declared victory in 1949 and established the People's Republic of China, after which the few remaining foreigners left the country. Closed off from the outside world with which it had become so comfortable, Shanghai fell into a deep sleep. Fashion, music, and romance gave way to uniformity and the stark reality of Communism.
Three decades from 1950 to 1980 passed by with one Five Year Plan after another, marked by periods of extreme famine and drought, reform and suppression. Shanghai's industries soldiered on during these years; the city remained the largest contributor of tax revenue to the central government. Its political contribution, however, had far greater ramifications: the city was the powder keg for the Cultural Revolution and the base of operations for the infamous Gang of Four, led by Mao Zedong's wife, Jiang Qing. The so-called January Storm of 1967 purged many of Shanghai's leaders, and Red Guards in Shanghai fervently carried out their destruction of the "Four Olds": old ways of idea, living, traditions and thought.
Yet, in 1972 that Chinese Cultural Revolution still raged, Shanghai hosted the historic meeting that would help lay the groundwork for the China of today. Premier Zhou Enlai and U.S. president Richard Nixon signed the Shanghai Communique, which enabled the two countries to normalize relations and encouraged China to open talks with the rest of the world. Twenty years later, the 14th Party Congress endorsed the concept of a socialist market economy, opening the door ever wider to foreign investment.
Modernization of Shanghai.
Today Shanghai has once again become one of China's most open cities ideologically, socially, culturally, and economically, striving to return to the internationalism that defined it before the Revolution. Shanghai's path to this renewed prominence began in 1990 when China's leader, Deng Xiaoping, chose it as the engine of the country's commercial renaissance, aiming to rival Hong Kong by 2010. Having embraced competition and a market-driven economy in just a few years, it now hosts the nation's stock market, accounts for approximately one-fifth of the country's gross national product, and serves as the most important industrial base in the nation. Today, beauty and charm coexist with kitsch and commercialism. From the colonial architecture of the former French Concession to the forest of cranes and the neon-lighted high-rises jutting above the city, Shanghai is a city of paradox and change.
Numerous celebrities once gifted Shanghai the endless glories such as Dr. Sun Yat-sen and Madam Sun, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Li Hongzhang (the Prime Minister of the Qing Dynasty) and Chiang Kai-shek etc. They lived or stayed in Shanghai for a certain time and left us many unforgettable stories.
Its westernized characters are unparalleled in contrast to any other city in China. It formed its own characteristics of keeping old-traditions and Sino-foreign cultural communication. The establishment of national market of the finance and securities, futures, foreign exchanges and technology ensures its status as the center of national resource allocation; meanwhile it also quickens the internationalization of Shanghai economy. APEC meeting held in 2001 and the World Expo will be held in 2010 inevitably prompts the further establishment of its status as one of the international business centers.
Shanghai at the present day is a modernized but traditional metropolis featured in Shanghai-style Culture. Each part of prosperous Shanghai absolutely releases its distinct fascination from other cities. The unique old-style westernized architectures in the Bund and modernized skyscrapers in Pudong mutually glorify each other. The sounds of reciting psalm at cathedral of Xujiahui, the upward smoke of joss sticks at Jade-Buddha Temple, the elders playing Mahjong under the arcade, and youngsters playing football in alley will all release you colorfulness and variety of local citizens' daily life. The Hu Drama, burlesque playing in public theater, the symphonic orchestra, ballet in big theater, the local snacks and cuisine in some old-fashioned hotels, the refreshments from different places in Yunnan Road, French feast at Red House, KFC, tea cafe and Starbucks in Shanghai old streets, the taproom in Hengshan Road, the diversity of choices certainly deepens your understanding on Shanghai and locals lifestyle.
The Sino-foreign integration, enchantment of tradition and the preference to fashion perfect Shanghai in different aspects. The honor and dream are mixed here, the impressive architectures mostly express its passion and emotion to show itself and welcome the guests from other countries and regions in the process of modernization and globalization.
Shanghai World Expo 2010 held in Shanghai is themed with "Better City-Better Life" and it signifies Shanghai's new status in the 21st century as a major economic and cultural center. The Expo lasts from May 1 - October 31, 2010. The mascot of 2010 Shanghai World Expo is Haibao. World Expo 2010 Shanghai China is a great international gathering; the exposition attracts the participants of 200 countries and international organizations as well as hundreds of millions of visitors from home and abroad. The opening ceremony, the diversified excellent expo pavilions, well-designed operational procedures and the splendid volunteer service guarantee this World Expo becomes one of most impressive and incomparable exhibitions of humankinds in the history of World Expo.