Shanghai is a city located on the eastern coast of the Chinese Federated Union. It has at times belonged to various ancient dynasties, the Republic of China, and the People's Republic of China. In current times, Shanghai is a world-class metropolis rivaling New York City, USA and Tokyo, Japan.
Pre-War (19th century - 1949)
Portions of Shanghai were ceded to international powers following the Opium Wars called the Shanghai International Settlement. This saw the influx of European and American businesses, shops, schools, churches, and culture arriving in this port city of China. The city of Shanghai was mainly an economic hub between East and West, with various merchant ships stopping by the city to trade goods. It would retain this status even during the turbulent times of China during the Boxer Rebellion and the early phases of the Chinese Civil War.
Fears of an expansionist Japanese Empire, which began invading Manchuria in the 1930s, prompted the British Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy to deployed river gunboats and troops to protect interests there. There were skirmishes between the Japanese and the U.S. and UK forces, one of them the USS Panay incident. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War began, prompting more deployment of British and American forces within the settlement. Since war was not yet declared, the Japanese forces respected the territorial rights of the international settlement, though soldiers of the IJA often encroached in the area while chasing after partisans or resistance fighters. Around November 1941, British and American troops were in the phase of being withdrawn from Shanghai. On December 7, 1941 (December 8 in China), Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. War was declared on the United States and the United Kingdom. Japanese troops marched through the settlement and occupied the city. They also captured some allied troops and the USS Wake gunboat and sunk the HMS Peterel after it resisted on surrendering to the IJN.
The city was occupied by the Japanese throughout the remainder of the war despite underground resistance ongoing up until the Empire's surrender in 1945. Following the war, foreign nationals began to resettle the international settlement. However, the second phase of the Chinese Civil War reignited between the Nationalist and the Communist armies. Around 1948-1949, most of the Western civilians, alongside with White Russians and countless Chinese refugees left Shanghai as the Communists began marching there. The city fell under Mao Zedong's PLA in 1949.
Tianenmen-Square Protests of 1989
A lesser known chapter in history, Shanghai was also the site of pro-democracy protests concurrent with the protest in Beijing from May to June 1989. Events of the protests in Shanghai are not fully known to this day except from a few documents and witnesses that gave off interviews on what happened during the PLA crackdown.
The Battle of Shanghai
The PLA's defeats in World War III caused anger among the Chinese population in the mainland over the unnecessary loss of lives during their disastrous campaign. With the memory of the June 4, 1989 crackdown still fresh in the minds of the populace, another wave of protests from the masses. The People's Armed Police, loyal to the Chinese Communist Party - who were wary of another wave of protests gripping the country - opened fire on the protesters, killing hundreds. This time, however, the citizens fought back using captured firearms and improvised weapons. Some PLA soldiers also began to defect to the rebels, providing them with more firearms, trucks, armored vehicles, and artillery. Shanghai was a war zone in the following weeks to come. Inspired from the events of Shanghai, major revolts gripped every major Chinese city, forcing the CCP to deploy more PLA in these areas. With the danger of being overextended, the Communist Party realized that China would soon fall into chaos. The final blow came when Tibetans and Ugyhurs rose up and created their own insurgencies there. After a chaotic house-to-house fighting reminiscent to the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942-1943 that lasted for four months, Shanghai fell to the pro-democracy rebels. Being a port city with the PLA's merchant fleet and some support vessels, the rebels then used it to launch a raid on the PLA-N's facilities in Ningbo, thus capturing more ships for the rebels' unofficial navy. The provisional leaders in the area then declared their support for Zhao Ziyang, who was newly released from house arrest and declared as the provisional leader of China.
Shanghai was heavily damaged during the Second Chinese Civil War. Thanks to foreign investments and aid following the Third World War, Shanghai was reconstructed, finishing the majority of the damages by 1998-1999. The beginning of the 21st century saw Shanghai turned into an economic hub, a legacy of what Deng Xiaoping dreamed it to be during the 1980s economic reforms. Shanghai is currently a major port city, receiving a large percentage of the world's shipping companies.