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With a population of nearly 15 million, Shanghai is China's most
cosmopolitan city and is being transformed into an economic reform showpiece.
Shanghai has hundreds of gleaming skyscrapers, elevated expressways, suspension
bridges and a new subway. Other additions include a futuristic television
tower, an imposing city hall, a world-class museum, a modern opera house, a new
central library and a state-of-the-art stock exchange. Construction sites dot
the landscape. The burst of economic activity in the 1990's has brought
prosperity to Shanghai residents.
Once known as "the Paris of the
Orient," Shanghai has a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences, the
result of one hundred years of foreign rule. Although never a colony, Shanghai
was divided into concession areas and occupied by several Western powers,
including the British and the French. Under foreign administration, Shanghai
developed into a commercial port and an international financial center.
Shanghai's tree-lined boulevards, its distinctive old mansions (including the
U.S. Consulate General), and the grand buildings along the waterfront
embankment known as "the Bund," give the city a distinctive look. Shanghai is
the government's favorite site for experiments in economic and legal reform.
The most ambitious of these is the Pudong model city now under construction on
agricultural land across the Huangpu River from the Bund. Pudong will have a
financial center, major industrial zones, an international airport and