By N. Dweh Nimely
Hearing the name “Shanghai” could sound different in the ears and minds of many, especially due to its location in the eastern part of China. A first time tourist or traveller will see the distance as a place too far, not knowing that Shanghai is an ideal home away from home.
Shanghai is located at the center spot of China’s coastline and it is very lively with a lukewarm temperature during summer. Shanghai Town or City was set up in AD1267 on the west bank of the Huangpu River and in 1292; the then Central government of the Yuan Dynasty approved the establishment of Shanghai County in that area, which marked the official beginning of the city of Shanghai.
Customs office was set up in the city in 1685 by the central government of the Qing Dynasty. The city became the national center of textile and handicraft industry during the middle period of the Ming Dynasty. The city evolved into a major trading port in the 19th century, thus experiencing growth following the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
With a beautiful view from the banks of the Huangpu River, the city is situated on the east, thus making it very attractive to people of the world and an ideal place for tourism. The Yu Garden which sits stone-throw from the Huangpu River is a true display of modern Garden Park showcasing beautiful summer flowers.
Thousands of people from around the world each year come to see the beautiful City of Shanghai, which I considered A City of the height due its skyscrapers, especially the Shanghai Tower, which extends hundreds of meters above the level of the sea and into the clouds during winter. Visiting Shanghai is exciting always, especially when visiting either the Yu Garden on the banks’ of the waterfront in order to take a glance of a city considered one of the world’s fastest growing and economic viable city.
At the divided waterfront, a segment of tourists have the opportunity to experience nature while having a boat ride; while another segment who chooses not to have boats ride sits on the banks of the waterfront to view the beautiful city.
Skyscrapers on each side of the Huangpu River bring you much closer to the skyline of the city by showing the modern image of China. The Shanghai financial center including the Shanghai Tower is view from both side of the waterfront.
I was priviledge to visit the city along with other media colleagues from across Africa. Upon our arrival, we were received officially through a reception dinner organized by the City Municipality of Shanghai. At the gathering, City Municipality spokesperson Xu Wei, briefly explained about the media landscape, and economy of the city and its population.
The explanation from Mr. Wei makes me to understand that Shanghai has a great history with great people, culture and way of life. The city, Mr. Wei said is a home that attracts over 8.5 million visitors each year. Pudong and Hongqiao are the two international airports of the city.
Accordingly, Wei noted that in 2016, the city recorded a total of 741,900 flights which took off or landed at the two airports. Passengers’ throughput he said was 106.4625 million, while been a famous tourist destination and international cultural exchange center. Shanghai, he pointed out is China largest economic center with per capital GDP recorded in 2016 at US$17,105. The city is also one of the world’s financial centers with transactions in the Shanghai financial markets amounting to 1,364.66 trillion Yuan I 2016.
Shanghai have 16 districts, 107 towns, two townships, 105 sub-district committees, 4,253 neighborhood committees and 1,590 villagers committees in the city. The average life expectancy of local permanent residents, statistics revealed stood at 83.18, 80.83 years for males and 85.61 for females.
Shanghai has an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, with 599,300 new jobs created by the city in 2016 and also offering vocational training for 649,400 of which 277,700 are migrant workers in 2016. In transport, Shanghai is one of the country’s most important transport hubs, recording tons of cargo handled in 2016 to be 886.8916 million, and passenger been transported total of 195.6444 million in 2016.
Statistics provided by Shanghai City shows that agricultural production has become more mechanized and better organized. I have been made to understand that the city had 86,530 hectares of modern cropland of which 150 are modern vegetable farmlands, 304 standardized livestock farms and 270 standardized aquatic product and 3,202 agricultural cooperatives with 3,990 certified food farms.
While in the city, I had the opportunity to visits the Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare and the satellite city of Jiading District. The SUMG is a conglomeration of the Shanghai two leading newspaper groups; the Jiefang Daily Group and Wenhui-Xinmin United Media Group, with its establishment in 2013.
Located in the most open city I china Shanghai, SUMG pursues development with an internationalized approach with overseas newspaper editions in 20 cities worldwide.
SUMG publishes 24 newspapers and magazines, with online daily viewers exceeding 30 million. These papers making up SUMG, is one of China top 10 online news provider’ and is ranked the second among regional operators. Jiemian.com was launched in September 2014 as a financial information service platform with daily viewers of 25 million.
In the scientific satellite city of Jiading, 907,000 of the city 1.57 million resident come from outside; the Yangtze River make Jiading a famous and historic cultural town that was established in the last lunar month of the 10th year of Jiading period of Southern Song Dynasty in January 1218.
The City Municipality of Shanghai has identified Jiading as a satellite city. Jiading is a scientific and technology town clustered with several research institutes including the Chinese Academy of Sciences of which the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics and Shanghai Institute of Aerospace Electronic Equipment, Acoustics Laboratory and Electric Vehicle Research and Development Center.
Jiading is an emerging international automobile city and is believed to be the birthplace of the first car in mainland China. It holds Volkswagen, which is the first joint venture automotive production enterprise of Chinese Mainland and the only F1 circuit in China. Per capita disposable income of the residents reached 44,876 Yuan, according to statistics recorded in 2016.
Still in Shanghai, I stopped over to the Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare, an institution that is building world class state of the art Chinese Medical equipment. This group was established in March 2011 and it is it also in Jiading District. Since its establishment, the institution has built up strong brand of over 30 products. UIH as the institution is called has been growing with the mission of providing high-end medical equipment and benefitting the world; based on independent innovation, turns ‘Made in China’ into create by China.
UIH has also grown into the leader in the domestic medical equipment industry and the top brand in five and a half years.
Moreover, the temperature in Shanghai during the summer reminds me of Liberia’s dry season. There is a bit of rain either in morning, afternoon and late evening, such weather which is very similar to that of my home country. At night time in Shanghai, the city is more than just a city, with lights from skyscrapers and mini shopping centers taking over the entire city thereby showing its true beauty.
Also, in the night, the city is quite and relatively busy, with people moving about with from one location to the others. Mini shops most often remained open to the public up to 12am, to enable people returning late from work to have an opportunity to purchase food stuff.
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare
The dawn of day comes early as 4:00am, in Shanghai and being a first time visitor, you will run to the clock on the wall or by checking your mobile phone to authenticate the hour. Indeed the hour will be the same and you will see few people at that hour moving from one area of the city to the other.
Early morning before work commenced and late evening after work hours, people in Shanghai gathered at the ‘Park’, an area where they go for regular exercise. People of all aged go to the park and they have some protection from the service men that guard them.
Like, Beijing, the people of Shanghai have similar work attitude by going to jobs early. They are hardworking people. You will definitely love the restaurants, food, weather and tourists sites of Shanghai. Having dinner to some of the restaurants, you will be entertained with live dance performances.
You can also enjoy boat ride when visiting the Zhujiajiao Water Town; the town is one of the famous tourist’s destination while in Shanghai. People from around the world who come for vacation in Shanghai visit this town, just to have boat ride, while also having feet message in the fish pond.
It was a great opportunity to experience life outside of Liberia and especially in the coastal city of where people from around the world go for vacation throughout the year.
About the Author: Nicholas Dweh Nimley is a professional Liberian journalist with over 12 years of active service to the field of journalism in Liberia. Currently, he work for Liberia Media and Marketing Services (LMMS), publisher of The NEWS Newspaper. He is a graduate of the AME University and hold certificates in telecommunication, journalism, conflict and peace. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org