Shanghai is a Chinese coastal city, dated to the Song Dynasty.
The city is in a state of contrast versus what it was before the Revolution. During that period of conflict the city was contested several times over by the Koumintang and Japanese forces, depreciating its status during the conflict as a major economic center and one China's largest cities. After an era of reconstruction some of its value as a port city has returned with the growing links China has fostered with its allies through the Third International and Ethiopia. Although its full grandeur as a internationally recognized city of commerce as it had been to the Europeans prior has not returned.
Shanghai though is ostensibly linked to the Third International, being the operating base of the Third International and home of its headquarters, the Seven Nations Pond.
Shanghai dates back to the Warring States period of Chinese history in the territory of who was Lord Chunsen of the Kingdom of Chu. Until the Song dynasty the city wasn't considered more than a village, but was eventually promoted in status to a market town. The growth of Shanghai then coming in small bursts owing to its condition as a county, or the central core of the city. During the Ming dynasty Shanghai grew more with the addition of a defensive wall against Japanese pirates and then finally the construction of the City God Temple; a move reserved more in part to cities of political importance, but happened as recognition of Shanghai's commercial importance.
During the reign of the Manchu Qing Shanghai made greater evolution as an economic center of trade and became the most important on the Yangtze Delta. This evolution in importance dawning from the Kangxi Emperor's decision to lift the prohibition on ocean going vessels and then later the Yongzheng Emperor moving the provincial customs office to the city, spurning the economic growth of Shanghai despite its low political priority.
The era of European exploration enlightened Europe to the city's existence and they soon realized the potential and power of Shanghai as a port of business, favoring its geographic position as well its established port. Over the course of the 19th century numerous moves by Western powers against China forced the Qing to open many of their port cities to foreign trade, including Shanghai. Japan was the first to build factories in Shanghai after forcing the Chinese to make concessions to them in the city with the Treaty of Shimonoseki.
Shanghai would have been on track to being one of the world's largest cities, but the 1935 invasion of China by Japan changed the course for the city and marked a grueling and bloody episode for the city. Between 1935 to 1956 the city changed hands on multiple occasions; 1935, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1950, 1954, and then surrendering to Communist revolutionaries in 1958.
After the revolution the city had suffered large-scale damage to its infrastructure and its population with considerable numbers missing and of its original 6 million inhabitants (roughly) 4.5 million remained. The rest had been killed, fled the country as refugees, or had gone missing.
The city went under reconstruction in the post-war years until 1968. Much of the old war-damaged city had been cleared and the old foreigner quarters were largely removed and reconstructed for Chinese needs. The factories built by Japan were rebuilt and a re-consolidation and re-examination of the city was undertaken.
Given China's isolationist policy much of what had built the city was no longer deemed necessary. Through the remainder of the 60's the city was penned as being one of several operational based for the New People's Liberation Navy, equipped with military shipyards. Industrial assets of naval assets were relocated into Shanghai.
In addition the new powers of China found themselves with a city with what was the modern venture into western entertainment for the time. The NPN moved music and film resources into the city to occupy its studios and uses the city today as the capital of its music industry.
Current EditThe expansion of Chinese interests has seen a rise in international trade into and out of the country to foreign states. The Asian Socialist Bloc - now the The Third International - brought renewed use of the city as a international trading port as commerce was opened to the Philippines, Mexico, and later (briefly) America.
The Seven Nations Pond has as well given the city a large amount of political influence by regularly housing the large numbers of foreign delegates that visit or temporarily reside in the city for the Third International.