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Geography of Shanghai ,China

Learn Ten Facts about the City of Shanghai


Shanghai Skyline

A sightseeing ship on the Huangpu River against the night skyline of Pudongs Lujiazui Financial District on April 15, 2010 in Shanghai, China.

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Updated November 15, 2010

Shanghai is a large city in China. It is located on China's central coast at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Shanghai is one of China's four direct-controlled municipalities, meaning that it is one of the highest level cities in the country and it has a status equal to a province. As such, it is controlled directly by the Chinese Federal government.

Shanghai is known as being a center of China's commerce and finance and it is a large tourist destination because of its many historic landmarks as well as its new, modern architecture. Shanghai is also considered one of the world's fastest growing economies for a large city.

The following is a list of ten geographic facts to know about Shanghai, China:

1) Although it had been a village and then a city for centuries prior, Shanghai began its largest period of growth during the Qing Dynasty in the late 1600s and early 1700s when it became a major seaport in the Yangtze Delta area. For example, in 1684, Emperor Kangxi began allowing ocean going ships to enter the Yangtze Delta (this had been illegal during the Ming Dynasty) and in 1732, Emperor Yongzheng moved customs control to Shanghai.

2) During the 19th century, Shanghai continued to grow because of its strategic location on the Yangtze Delta. After the First Opium War (from 1839 to 1842), the Treaty of Nanjing was signed in 1842 which opened Shanghai as a port for international trade. As a result, several foreign settlements were established in Shanghai and in 1854, the Shanghai Municipal Council was created to manage them.

3) On July 14, 1927, Shanghai's political status was upgraded to a municipality under the Republic of China. By 1932, Shanghai had grown considerably and it had a foreign-born population of 70,000. In 1937, the Battle of Shanghai took place and Japanese forces began to occupy the parts of Shanghai that were not foreign-controlled. In 1941 however, the International Settlements became occupied and they remained that way until the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

4) On May 27, 1949, Shanghai was taken over by the Communist People's Liberation Army and shortly thereafter it underwent many boundary changes. As a result, many international firms moved their offices to Hong Kong. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Shanghai's economy continued to grow and it became an industrial center as well as a center of The Republic of China's communism. In the late 1960s the Cultural Revolution of the People's Republic of China entered Shanghai and it continued to grow economically and remain socially stable. Shanghai began its own economic reforms in 1991 and it has since grown considerably.

5) As a direct-controlled municipality, Shanghai has a status that is equal to China's provinces. It is divided into 18 county-level divisions which consist of 17 districts and one county.

6) As a result of Shanghai's growing economy (which is mainly focused on its port status), it is currently undergoing a large building boom. Modern skyscrapers are becoming common in the city in order to house its many offices as well as its large population.

7) As of 2009, Shanghai had a population of 19,210,000. It is the third largest of China's direct-controlled municipalities (after Chongqing and Beijing) and it still has a large population of international residents. As a result, Shanghai is known as China's Global City.

8) Shanghai is geographically located on the central part of China's east coast. It is about halfway between Beijing and Hong Kong. It is broken up into a peninsula between the Yangtze River and Hangzhou Bay, the island of Chongming, as well as several other small islands. Shanghai covers a land area of 2,401 square miles (6,218 sq km) and it is mostly flat. The average elevation in the city is 13 feet (four meters) while its highest point is the peak of Dajinshan Island at 338 feet (103 m).

9) The climate of Shanghai is considered humid subtropical. It has four seasons with very cold winters, hot humid summers, and mild, dry springs and falls. Snowfall only occurs a couple times per year and the summer months are Shanghai's wettest. The average January low temperature is 34˚F (1.1˚C) and the average July high temperature is 89˚F (32˚C).

10) Air pollution in Shanghai is low compared to other cities in China due to new government policies aimed at cleaning up the environment. Most of the city's factories have been moved to its outskirts and there are a number of large parks and open land areas throughout the city. In addition there are several projects taking place to protect and clean-up the creeks and rivers running through Shanghai.

To learn more about Shanghai, visit the city's official website and China Travel at About.com's "Short History of Shanghai."


Wikipedia.com. (13 November 2010). Shanghai - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai

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