On entering a taxi at the massive airport in Shanghai the first thing one notices is the video screen inside your taxicab. These immediately instruct passengers in English to "buckle your safety belt"; you turn around in the cab but there is no safety belt! Welcome to Shanghai!
Shanghai has a permanent resident population of over 23 million -- it is more than 3 times bigger than London. It is a bustling modern city with new construction going up continuously. I had a drink with some colleagues on the 89th floor of one building near the financial center of town.
Shanghai, a port city, is the commercial heart of China. Shanghai is to Beijing very roughly as New York is to Washington DC.
Shanghai was also a colonial city during the 19th century. The British and French both had a strong presence in the city including extraterritorial rights which rankled Chinese sensibilities.
Shanghai is an old city with all of charm of ancient China. Walking the streets of the old French concession you can find SunYat Sen's house or, perhaps more accurately, his wife's house. Sun Yat Sen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Yat-sen) was the founder of the Nationalist Party who became the and the first President of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty.
|Sun Yat Sen, 1866 - 1925, "Father of the Nation"|
|Birdhouse, Sun Yat Sen's Garden|
|Waterfall, Fuxing Park|
|Marx / Engels, Fuxing Park|
|Commander K. in Old Shanghai|
|Castro in Shanghai|
|Commander K., Pudong in background|
|Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong|
|Commander K. and Pudong|
|Monument to the People's Heroes|
|Art of the Revolution|
Commander Kelly says "Visit Shanghai today and you will find an intriguing mix of ancient and modern, communism and capitalism, Confucianism and Maoism, pollution and hopefulness, tea houses and Starbucks, yin and yang."
Shanghai by Night