Shanghai situated on the banks of the Yangtze River,Delta in East China, is the largest city of the People's Republic of China and the eighth largest in the world. Widely regarded as the citadel of China's modern economy, the city also serves as one of the most important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers of China. Administratively, Shanghai is a municipality of the People's Republic of China that has province-level status. Shanghai is also one of the world's busiest ports, and became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005.
Originally a sleepy fishing town, Shanghai became China's most important city by the 20th century and was the centre of popular culture, vice, intellectual discourse and political intrigue during the Republic of China. Shanghai once became the third largest financial centre in the world, ranking after New York City and London, and the largest commercial city in the Far East in the late 19th century and early 20th century. After the communist takeover in 1949, Shanghai languished under heavy central government taxation and much of its bourgeois elements were purged.