February 25, 2013

Rise of the New Shanghai

Daniel Brook, Design Observer

AP Photo

If Shanghai wanted to open up economically, its leaders would first have to reassure the Politburo that they could keep the lid on. The opportunity to prove their authoritarian credentials came with the Tiananmen Square movement of 1989. The massacre in Beijing is well known. Yet in hindsight, the relative order that prevailed in Shanghai during the unrest may have been even more important. It was Shanghai’s composure during the Tiananmen movement that finally won it the go-ahead to develop Pudong — and ultimately shift all of China to its model of economic openness and political deep freeze, when the ruthlessly efficient pair who ran Shanghai, Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji, were given the keys to the Middle Kingdom. Just as Bombay’s quiescence during the Sepoy...

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TAGGED: Asia, China, Shanghai, Travel

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