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Shanghai, China's largest city, is directly under the central government. Being on the east coast due west of the southern tip of Japan, it was the scene of countless anti-imperialist struggles for a hundred years. It was divided into foreign concessions after the Opium War in 1840 and continued to be an open port until the 1940s. During these years, uprisings against western-powers, students' demonstrations against Japanese invasions and armies' fights against Japanese attacks never stopped. It was of great importance in China's revolution. The 1st Congress of the Communist Party of China was held here secretly in 1921.

Today, Shanghai is one of China's biggest and busiest port, most important industrial and commercial center. Its population is 12 million, with a population density of 41,000 per square km. Its industrial products rank the best in quality in China. It has one of China's two stock exchange markets. Its residents are known for their business talents, quick wit and sophistication. Its fashions and standards of products and services are more international than other Chinese cities. Its shopping is the best in China.

For tourists, Shanghai is a museum of 19th-century European and Japanese architecture, though some of the buildings are not well-preserved. Its most famous garden is Yuyuan Garden, laid out between 1559 and 1577. It now covers an area of 20,000 square meters. The top of its Rockery Hill used to be the highest point in the city before Shanghai's skyscrapers raised up. Visitors will note the dragon walls, beautifully-shaped doors, bamboo groove, winding walkways and elegant furnitures, all in a typical South China style. Nearby is Yuyuan Market, once the busiest in the city. You can buy almost everything for house use here, delicious food, utensils, arts and crafts. Shanghai has an excellent museum: the Shanghai Municipal Museum, where visitors can see a large variety of ancient relics, the demonstration of bronze casting and pottery making. In Shanghai Art and Handicrafts Research Institute, top artisans develop new crafts. The Jade Buddha Temple was founded in 1882. It housed 2 Buddhas, one of which carved from one piece of white jade in Burma. Longhua Pagoda and Temple is also a noted scenic spot. It is the oldest temple in the district. There are Former Residence of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and Tomb of Song Qingling, Dr. Sun's widow. There is Museum and Tomb of Lu Xun. Lu Xun was a great writer and philosopher, honored as China's national hero. Residence of Chou En-lai is also in Shanghai. In the outskirts of the city are 48.5-meter-high Square Pagoda, Confucius Temple, a Roman Catholic cathedral, Grand View Garden, and Dingshan Lake. Shanghai's Kunqu Opera is more melodic and graceful than Beijing Opera. Its food is sweeter, lighter and prettier than other Chinese foods.

 

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