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As China's biggest city and commercial and financial center, Shanghai is a key international port city in the west Pacific region. With a population of more than 24 million and a well-developed transportation and communication system facilitating extensive domestic and international connections, the city continues to grow and prosper, attracting more and more attention worldwide.

Shanghai was once a small town relying on fishery, textiles and handicraft. In the 19th century, with a superior port location, the city began to show its potential. After 1842, Shanghai grew into one of China's opening ports to the world and soon boomed after gaining the status of the center for trade between the East and the West. In the 1930s, Shanghai became the hub for transnational corporations to operate their businesses, and soon after turned herself into the most flourishing commercial center amidst the Asia-Pacific region. Shanghai came to be known as Paris of the East.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, a new chapter was written on Shanghai's development. With more than 60 years of arduous efforts, the people of Shanghai dramatically changed the city on both economic and social fronts. Particularly following the development and opening-up of Pudong District, the policy of "Deepening Reform and Opening Wider to the Outside" has been persistently implemented, and Shanghai has taken the lead in embarking on a road of scientific development which adapts to megalopolis characteristics.

Throughout the 21st century, under the principle of innovation and transformation, Shanghai has been striving to excel beyond a national center and build itself into a global center of economy, finance, trade and shipping as well as an international metropolis with a socialist identity. The city continues to be the largest economic center of China and the biggest port in the world.

Today’s Shanghai is a city with its own unique culture, a blend of the modern yet traditional. The dazzling city shows many aspects of her unique charm: the old fashioned western buildings along the Bund against the modern skyscrapers of Pudong on the opposite side of the river; the resonant hymns of Xujiahui Cathedral in harmony with the spiral smoke of Jade Buddha Temple; the local flavors of Lao Fan Dian, Cantonese morning tea of Xin Hua Lou, snacks from different regions on Yunnan Road, French cuisines of the Red House and bars on Hengshan Road. Together they create a unique, sensory combination of Chinese and Western traditions, each displayed with their own particular splendor.

When evening falls and neon begins to twinkle, Shanghai reveals her beauty from another aspect. Prosperity and openness can be seen everywhere, portraying the bright future of this cosmopolitan city where glory meets with the dream. Shanghai is a benchmark of modernization, internationalization and fashion, continuously opening her arms to people all around the world.

The spirit of Shanghai is Tolerance and Diversity, Pursuit of Excellence, Enlightened Wisdom and Humility. The urban image is rooted in the city's soul, the essence of which is the spirit of the citizens whose dreams, personalities and passions have embedded themselves into the charm of the city.

The vision of Shanghai includes goal that by 2040 Shanghai will have built itself into an extraordinary global city, becoming an international center of economy, finance, trade, shipping and technology innovation as well as a cultural metropolis, transforming Shanghai into a glamorous city of innovation.