Shanghai , a major port city on the west coast of the Pacific, is a municipality directly under the central government, covers 6341 square kilometers (145 square miles) and has 1,419 million inhabitants. It is between latitude 31¡ã4' north and longitude 121¡ã9' east and an average annual temperature of 15.7¡ãC with an annual rainfall of 1,200 mm.
Located where the Yangtze River, China's largest river, joins the country's prosperous eastern coast, Shanghai has evolved from a small 19th century fishing town into a modern metropolis and a renowned financial and trade center in East Asia. Shanghai has a written history of over 4,000 years. After the mid-Qing Dynasty, Shanghai became an important port for domestic and foreign trade. Now Shanghai Port is the country's largest and ranks third in the world. It is linked with more than 400 ports in about 160 countries and regions. Known as the "Museum of World Architecture", Shanghai has houses and buildings of classical Chinese, European, Japanese and modern styles. The streets of Shanghai are named after Chinese provinces, cities and counties. The elevated Inner Ring Road , 47.66 kilometers long, surrounds the city proper and links Pudong with Puxi. Another elevated highway runs from south to north through the city's downtown area. The subway Metro Line One runs from the Shanghai Railway Station to Xinzhuang. A multi-tiered traffic network has emerged in Shanghai . The Bund along the Huangpu River was once known as the "Wall Street of Far East ". Shanghai is one of China's old industrial bases. The reform over the past 20 years has injected the city with new vitality. The city's service industry now represents a growing part of Shanghai's economy. Finance and insurance, commerce, real estate, tourism and information represent the key sectors for development. The city's goal is to turn Shanghai into a regional economic and trade center. The Shanghai Stock Exchange and various specialized markets have developed rapidly in Shanghai , which also has the country's largest foreign exchange trading center as well as many foreign banks and insurance companies. The city has attracted more than 20,630 direct foreign investment projects, nearly 300 of which were invested by big-name multinationals. More than half of the world's top 100 industrial companies have invested in Shanghai . Shanghai is also a historical and cultural city with a rich heritage: the beautiful Longhua Pagoda dating from 242 A.D., the exquisite Mao Pagoda built in Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty Huzhou Pagoda, which leans even more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Loom inventor Huang Daopo and famous Chinese calligrapher Zhao Menfu, both of the Yuan Dynasty, lived in Shanghai for some time. The city has a number of Ming and Qing Dynasties gardens. The most famous is the Yuyuan Garden built in 1559. Shanghai also has the Former Residence of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Kuomintang (KMT); the Tomb of Soong Ching Ling, wife of late Dr. Sun Yat-sen and honorary president of the People's Republic of China; the Former Residence of Lu Xun, great man of letters in modern China; and other places of historical significance such as the Jade Buddha Temple and Xujiahui Church.