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 nation's most important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers. 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 fishing town, Shanghai became China's most important city by the twentieth century and was the center of popular culture, intellectual discourse and political intrigue during the Republic of China era. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Shanghai became the third largest financial center in the world, ranking after New York City and London, and the largest commercial city in the Far East. After the communist takeover in 1949, Shanghai languished due to heavy central government taxation and cessation of foreign investment, and had many of its supposedly "bourgeois" elements purged. Following the central government's authorization of market-economic redevelopment of Shanghai in 1992, Shanghai has now surpassed early-starters Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and has since led China's economic growth.