Old Place

Shanghai (in Pin-yin Romanization, Shang-hai), whose name literally means “on the sea,” is one of the world’s largest seaports and a major industrial and commercial centre of the People’s Republic of China. It is located on the coast of the East China Sea between the mouth of the Yangtze River to the north and the bays of Hangchow and Yű-p’an to the south.

The municipality covers a total area of 2,200 square miles (5,800 square kilometers), which includes the city itself, surrounding suburbs, and an agricultural hinterland. China’s most populous urban area, metropolitan Shanghai contains between 5,500,00 and 6,000,000 inhabitants and the municipality, a total of about 10,800,000.

Shanghai was the first Chinese port to be opened to Western trade, and it long dominated the nation’s commerce.  Since the Communist rise to power in 1949, however, it has become an industrial giant whose products supply China’s growing domestic demands.

The city has also undergone extensive physical changes with the establishment of suburbs and housing complexes, the improvement of public works, and the provision of parks and other recreational facilities.  Shanghai has attempted to eradicate the economic and psychological legacies of its exploited past and to create a burgeoning, and purely Chinese, urban area. – Joe Trainor


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