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Shanghai (Chinese: 上海) is the largest city in China, and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 20 million people. Located on China's central eastern coast just at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the city is administered as a municipality of the People's Republic of China with province-level status.
Originally a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew to importance in the 19th century due to its favorable port location and as one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. The city flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became a multinational hub of finance and business by the 1930s. After 1990, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in intense re-development and financing in Shanghai, and in 2005 Shanghai became the world's largest cargo port. Shanghai will hold the World Expo 2010, the largest event in China since the 2008 Olympics.
The city is a tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and City God Temple, its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental .Pearl Tower, and its new reputation as a cosmopolitan center of culture and design. Today, Shanghai is the largest center of commerce and finance in mainland China, and has been described as the "showpiece" of the world's fastest-growing major economy.
Geography and Climate
Shanghai sits on the Yangtze River Delta on China's eastern coast, and is roughly equidistant from Beijing and Hong Kong. The municipality as a whole consists of a peninsula between the Yangtze and Hangzhou Bay, China's third largest island Chongming, and a number of smaller islands. It is bordered on the north and west by Jiangsu Province, on the south by Zhejiang Province, and on the east by the East China Sea. The city proper is bisected by the Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze. The historic center of the city, the Puxi area, is located on the western side of the Huangpu, while a new financial district, Pudong, has developed on the eastern bank.
The vast majority of Shanghai's 6,218 km2 (2,401 sq mi) land area is flat, apart from a few hills in the southwest corner, with an average elevation of 4 m (13 ft). The city's location on the flat alluvial plain has meant that new skyscrapers must be built with deep concrete piles to stop them sinking into the soft ground. The highest point is at the peak of Dajinshan Island at 103 m (340 ft). The city has many rivers, canals, streams and lakes and is known for its rich water resources as part of the Taihu drainage area.
Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa) and experiences four distinct seasons. In winter, cold northerly winds from Siberia can cause nighttime temperatures to drop below freezing, although most years there are only one or two days of snowfall. Summer in Shanghai is very warm and humid, with occasional downpours or freak thunderstorms. The city is also susceptible to typhoons, none of which in recent years has caused considerable damage. The most pleasant seasons are Spring, although changeable, and Autumn, which is generally sunny and dry. Shanghai experiences on average 1,878 hours of sunshine per year, with the hottest temperature ever recorded at 40 °C (104 °F), and the lowest at ?12 °C (10 °F). The average number of rainy days is 112 per year, with the wettest month being June. The average frost-free period is 276 days.
Twin towns — Sister cities Shanghai is twinned with:
Yokohama, Japan - since 1973 Osaka, Japan - 1974 Milan, Italy - 1979 Rotterdam, the Netherlands - 1979 San Francisco, United States - 1979 Osaka Prefecture, Japan - 1980 Zagreb, Croatia - 1980 Hamhung, North Korea - 1982 Manila, Philippines - 1983 Antwerp, Belgium - 1984 Karachi, Pakistan - 1984 Chicago, United States - 1985 Montreal, Canada - 1985 Piraeus, Greece - 1985 Gdansk, Poland - 1985 Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan - 1986 Herat, Afghanistan - 2008 Hamburg, Germany - 1986 Casablanca, Morocco - 1986 Gothenburg, Sweden - 1986 Marseille, France - 1987
São Paulo,Brazil - 1988 Saint Petersburg, Russia - 1988 Istanbul, Turkey - 1989 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - 1990 Alexandria, Egypt - 1992 Busan, South Korea - 1993 Port Vila, Vanuatu - 1994 Dunedin, New Zealand - 1994 Haifa, Israel - 1994 Tashkent, Uzbekistan - 1994 Porto, Portugal - 1995 Aden, Yemen - 1995 Windhoek, Namibia - 1995 London, United Kingdom - 1996 Santiago de Cuba, Cuba - 1996 Rosario, Argentina - 1997 Espoo, Finland - 1998 Jalisco State, Mexico - 1998 Liverpool, United Kingdom - 1999 Maputo, Mozambique - 1999 Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 2000
Chiang Mai, Thailand - 2000 KwaZulu Natal, South Africa - 2001 Guayaquil, Ecuador - 2001 Valparaiso, Chile - 2001 Barcelona, Spain - 2001 Oslo, Norway - 2001 Constanţa, Romania - 2002 Algiers, Algeria - 2003 Colombo, Sri Lanka - 2003 Aarhus County, Denmark - 2003 Bratislava Region, Slovakia - 2003 Hauraki District, New Zealand - 2003 Salzburg, Austria - 2004 Lefkosia, Cyprus - 2004 Cork, Ireland - 2005 Winston-Salem, United States - 2006 Basel, Switzerland - 2007 Nizhnevartovsk, Russia - 2007 Borås, Sweden - 2007 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 2008 Manaus, Brazil - 2009