Shanghai Serviced Apartments
Once known as "Paris of the East," Shanghai in the early 20th Century laid claim to being the most glamorous, decadent and cultured city in China—and all of Asia. After years of being closed off to the rest of the world, Shanghai is rapidly regaining its reputation as a cosmopolitan city. While Beijing remains the capital, the center of politics, culture, information and academia, the world knows Shanghai as China's financial center, the center of fashion, and a progressive enterprising city open to new ideas.
Unlike Beijing, Shanghai's history does not date far back. Until 1842 it was a sleepy fishing village. Its name in Chinese literally means on the sea, which describes its advantageous location on the banks of the Yangtze (Chang Jiang) River delta, close to the silk and tea producing regions of China. Its geography propelled it to prominence when sea trade with the West became more important.
Following the Opium Wars of the mid 19th century, Britain declared Shanghai a treaty port, and the sleepy village was suddenly transformed into a cosmopolitan destination. The British, French and Americans took up autonomous concession zones in the city. All three brought colonial influences to the city, which can still be seen today in the European architecture of the buildings on the Bund and in the Old French Concession area.
Today, the city's resurgence in economic prosperity is best exemplified in the development of the Pu Dong New Area. The Shanghai government invested millions of dollars on infrastructure projects in Pu Dong, such as the aggressively modern Pu Dong International Airport. With its economic progress, Shanghai continues to undergo a renaissance of its arts and culture. The impressive Shanghai Museum and the architecturally striking Shanghai Grand Theatre are just two examples of the city's cultural rebirth. Since the mid-1990s the city has gained a reputation for experimental and extravagant architecture rivaled domestically only by Beijing.