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Shanghai, China

Shanghai is the largest city in China and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. Although Shanghai is an atypical Chinese city, its development history crystallizes the trajectory of Chinese urban transformation. It demonstrates the process of the change from a walled city, semicolonial city, socialist city, to a city of transition. Rhoads Murphey suggests that Shanghai is key to modern China, but Shanghai also is key to postreform China.


Despite the common wisdom of Shanghai growing from a fishing village to a global city, Shanghai was designated a market city during the Song Dynasty (AD 960–1279) and a county (xian) during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1638). A city wall extending some nine miles and with six gates was built in 1553 during the Ming ...

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