Shanghai is one of the largest cities by population (23 millions) in China and the world. The city is located in the middle of China’s east coast, and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Due to its rapid growth over the last two decades it has again become a global city, exerting influence over diverse perspectives.
Once a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew into importance in the 19th century due to its favourable port location and was one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing which was signed with disgrace after China lost the Opium War to British. The city then flourished as a centre of commerce between east and west, and became a multinational hub of finance and business in the 1930s.
In 1990, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city. Shanghai is now aimed at being international centers in the fields of finance, commerce, convention and shipping in the future.