Shanghai’s long-standing local civilization can be traced back to as early as 7,000 years ago. When the Yuan dynasty wiped out the Song dynasty, Shanghai became the “Shibosi” (Bureau for Foreign Shipping) in charge of marine trade, marking Shanghai as an important town in the south of the Yangtze river. During the Ming and Qing dynasty, Shanghai became the largest north-south trade transfer stop for marine trade.
After Japan’s invasion of China in 1937, the whole Shanghai region, except for the concessions, were occupied by the Japanese army. The Chinese War of Resistance against Japanese aggression brought stability back to Shanghai. In 1949, Shanghai was set up as a municipality under the direct administration of the central government.
Notwithstanding the rapid growth of cities in south China since the reforms and opening-up, Shanghai has consolidated its place as the economic center in China. Shanghai today prides itself as the most important economic and trade center of China.