Richard Myers Shanghai Research Paper Shanghai is the largest city in China and the 10th largest city in the world. It is located in the central, eastern part of china on the coast, making it a port city as well. Shanghai is administered as a municipality and it has attained province status. Shanghai began as a textile and fishing town, but in the song dynasty was upgraded to a market town and finally a city in 1297. A city wall was built during the Ming dynasty in 1554 to protect it from Japanese pirates. Because of Shanghai’s economic importance a City God Temple was erected, an honor usually reserved for a capital city. During the Qing Dynasty the ban on ocean going vessels was lifted, and the customs office was moved to Shanghai. Due to these reasons Shanghai became the most important port city in the Yangtze Delta region. Despite all of these advancements they were still considered to be at the lowest administrative level politically. Shanghai in the 19th century continued to improve as it was in an ideal location for trade with the west. After the First Opium War, and the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing. Shanghai was opened for international trade. When Japan became an industrial power they too became involved in Shanghai commerce. This effectively made Shanghai the most important financial center in the Far East. Under the Republic of China Shanghai’s status was set as a Municipality. In 1949 the Chinese Communist party controlling the Peoples Liberation Army gained control of Shanghai. Many changes in the subdivisions of the city occurred over the following 10 years, including most foreign business moving to Hong Kong as a part of foreign exodus due to the Communist victory. Shanghai has been the largest tax revenue contributor during communist control, but this has also crippled Shanghai’s infrastructure and capital development. Still it has been able to maintain high economic productivity and relative social stability. In 1991 Shanghai was permitted by the government to begin economic reforms that have been proven to work in the southern part of china. and these reforms are ongoing today, especially in the Pudong region of Shanghai. Shanghai is considered the most important port city in Mainland China. It is considered to be one of the busiest ports in the world. Since 2005 their cargo traffic has surpassed Hong Kong to be second in the world only to Singapore. Shanghai was first in 2007 when they handled 560 million tons of cargo. Hong Kong and Shanghai are battling to become the economic center of China. Hong Kong has a stronger market in commerce and banking, but Shanghai has a stronger political backing and higher advancements in manufacturing and technology. Shanghai seems to be winning the battle as it has increased its role in finance, banking, and corporate headquarters. Formerly the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was the largest in China but the Shanghai stock exchange is now known as the fastest growing market in the world. On top of these advancements Shanghai also has one of the most advanced transportation systems in China. They rely heavily on busses, trolley busses, taxis, and a rapidly expanding metro rail system. The Shanghai Metro extends to every urban district and many suburban districts of Shanghai. Shanghai was the first city to have a commercial maglev train from Pudong international airport to Longyang road subway station. Shanghai also has one of the largest bus systems with over one thousand lines managed by many companies. Still the main form of transportation remains to be bicycle for much of the Shanghainese population. For this reason the government has agreed to expand the bicycle safety in Shanghai by adding new bike lanes, and monitoring intersections with Traffic Assistants. On a lighter note, Shanghai has a rich tapestry of architectural styles. The bund, which is a part of Shanghai next to the Huangpu River, has early neoclassical buildings including the HSBC building, as well as Art Decco buildings such as the Sassoon House. Other areas such as the Yuyuan garden display a Jiangnan style. Shanghai also has architecture based solely on Shanghainese and traditional culture, known as shikumen residences. They blend western style Yangtze style architectures. This has created a unique style of architecture found only in Shanghai. They have also erected many skyscrapers, which have beautiful styling. The Shanghai World Financial Center is one such building. This building has been compared to a bottle opener by our group, but is one of the most beautiful buildings at night. Another unique building of the Shanghai skyline is the Oriental Pearl Tower. The culture of Shanghai is that of firsts for China. It was in Shanghai that the first automobile was driven, and the first train tracks were laid. Also the first modern sewer system was laid in Shanghai. Shanghai is also the literary center of china and the site of the intellectual battle between socialist and bourgeois writers. Shanghai is also known as the center for Chinese filmmaking. Shanghai has many museums including the Shanghai Museum of art and history. This museum boasts the best collection of Chinese historical artifacts in the world, which includes recent archaeological finds since 1949. All though there are many large museums such as this there are also many smaller museums usually at historical sites such as the site of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Shanghai has been the center for many events in China and the world including the 2007 Summer Special Olympics, the Shanghai International Film Festival, and the city will host the 2010 Expo World’s Fair. The city is also home of the Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League, the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, and the Shanghai Golden Eagles of the Chinese Baseball League. They have also accepted other modern sports including Formula One racing. Shanghai cuisine is a blending of cooking styles of surrounding regions that have proven to go together very well. The cuisine of China always starts with fresh ingredients but this seems to be the only similarity. Shanghai cuisine uses a lot of soy sauce, and rock sugar making it abundantly sweet and salty. Some dishes include round pork sausages with clover, red bean paste or pork in steamed bread (known as a steamed bun), and sliced pork or chicken pieces. On top of these dishes there are many international cuisines available in the city, and French cooking is very highly regarded by the locals. KFC, Mc’donalds, and Pizza Hut are also highly regarded for their fast food natures due to the hectic lifestyle in shanghai nowadays. The younger generations find these convenient but they are expensive compared to local cuisines. It is apparent that Shanghai is a powerhouse of China and certainly an international phenomenon. They have more culture then most cities in the world and hold on to that heritage in a lot of ways. It is apparent that cultural pride is deeply rooted into everything about China.
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