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East China

  • Huangpu District in Shanghai, China
Huangpu District in Shanghai
Priority: Midd
Location Type: Region
(Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang) - traditional water towns, and China's new cosmopolitan economic center
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Wikitravel - East China

Map of the provinces of East China

Originally, Hangzhou and Nanjing were the great cities of this region; both have been the capital of China. Suzhou was another important city, famous for its gardens, canals and silk. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Wu at a time when China was divided. In the 19th century, after one of the Opium Wars, China was forced to open certain Treaty Ports to foreign trade. The two in this region were Ningbo, which until then had been mainly the port for Hangzhou, and Shanghai, until then an insignificant town strategically positioned near the mouth of the Yangtze. Both developed rapidly after that. By the early 20th century, Shanghai became one of the world's richest and wildest cities. Then everything went wrong; this region was one of the areas of China that Japan succeeded in conquering, and they suffered horrendously under Japanese rule, 1937 to 1945. Then there were the Chinese Civil War, 1945-1949, the Great Leap Forward in the 50s, and the Cultural Revolution 1966-1976; all caused additional problems in this area. In the "reform and opening up" since 1978, this area has benefited enormously. Shanghai is again definitely one of the world's greatest cities; Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing are not far behind. All are very modern cities with lots of large new buildings, more under construction, and subway systems either in service or under construction. The entire region is a hive of industry, one of the most prosperous in China. It is a magnet for migrants from poorer regions who come here in droves seeking work. ... read more

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