SHANGHAI IS CHINA’s “second city,” and is a leader in the economic transformation of 21st-century China. Developed in the 19th century as imperial China’s main outlet to the West, the city became 1 of the world’s greatest marketplaces, as well as a sophisticated cultural center known as the Paris of the east. But it has also been labeled the New York of the east, as a city that rivals its national capital in importance in everything from population to economic power to cultural dominance. But the city is best known today as the dragon head, owing to its position at the mouth of China’s greatest river, and as the driving force for China’s economy. Shanghai—meaning “on the sea”—is located where the Yangzi Rover (Changjiang) meets the East China Sea. Though not actually located on the sea, the city’s location about 10 mile (16 kilometer) up the Huangpu River shield it from the more dangerous waters of the mouth of the Yangzi (about 25 to 30 mile or 40 to 50 kilometer), subject to floods and high winds. The 37-mile (60- kilometer) waterfront along the banks of the Huangpu sees about one-fourth of all of China’s oceangoing cargo, most still carried locally by traditional sailing junks (fanchuan). The Yangzi is China’s main east-west artery, navigable as far as Chongqing, 3,900 mile (6,290 kilometer) upstream. Control of this area meant control of most of China, a fact well known for centuries by waves of imperial dynasties, followed by European colonialists in the 19th century and Chinese Nationalists, Japanese occupiers, and the Communist Red Army in the 20th century. The British capture of the Yangzi delta in 1842 forced China’s government to open its first port to Western traders. Communist occupation of the region in 1949 spelled the end of Nationalist government on the mainland. Returning to its roots, Shanghai was 1 of the first Chinese cities opened for foreign investment in 1984, and the adjacent city of Pudong became 1 of 6 Special Economic Zones, with relaxed import/export regulations and lower taxes, in 1993.