Administration Establishment and Historical Evolution
Named after Shanghai Creek, a tributary of the Wusong River (Suzhou Creek), Shanghai is a city with its prosperity based on its port. Shanghai town originally started as a small town during the final year of the Jingding period to the early Xianchun period of the Southern Song Dynasty, Shanghai was established as Shanghai County from the 29th year of the Zhiyuan period of the Yuan Dynasty (1292). Shanghai Special Municipality was established in 1927 and renamed Shanghai Municipality in 1930.
With a long history of culture and civilization, Shanghai witnessed its birth over 6,000 years ago when our ancestors took root here. Through fishing, hunting and farming, the people survived and grew their population. During the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, Shanghai belonged to the Kingdom of Wu and the Kingdom of Yue successively. The area underwent various changes in the following history. For a long stretch of history from the late Tang Dynasty to 1958, Shanghai had been roughly divided into three administrative divisions. One area was to the south of the Wusong River. In the tenth year of Tianbao Period (751) of the Tang Dynasty, Huating County was established, which was the first independent county-level administration within modern-day Shanghai. It was upgraded to Huating Prefecture in the fourteenth year of the Zhiyuan Period (1277) of the Yuan Dynasty and was changed to Songjiang Prefecture the next year. During the Qing Dynasty, it governed seven counties, including Huating, Shanghai, Qingpu, Lou,Fengxian, Jinshan and Nanhui, as well as Chuansha District. Another area was to the north of the Wusong River. Jiading County was established on the ninth day of the twelfth lunar month in the tenth year of Jiading Period (1218) of the Southern Song Dynasty, eventually splitting resulting in the establishment of Baoshan County. The third area was the island area at the Yangtze River Estuary. Present-day Chongming first emerged as shoals during the Wude Period (618—626) of the Tang Dynasty. Chongming Prefecture was established in the 14th year (1273) of Zhiyuan Period of the Yuan Dynasty and downgraded to Chongming County in the 2nd year of Hongwu Period (1369) of the Ming Dynasty. On the 27th of May in 1949, Shanghai was liberated. The city was then divided into 20 urban districts and 10 suburban districts. In 1958, 10 counties, including Shanghai and Songjiang County, were placed under Shanghai Municipality from Jiangsu Province, thus essentially forming the areas of the city today. In 2014, Shanghai Municipality had 16 districts and Chongming County under its jurisdiction. The districts are Pudong New Area, Xuhui, Changning, Putuo, Zhabei, Hongkou, Yangpu, Huangpu, Jing'an, Baoshan, Minhang, Jiading, Fengxian, Songjiang, Jinshan and Qingpu.
City Flower and City Emblem
City Flower. White Magnolia was approved to be the city flower by the Standing Committee of Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress in 1986. As a kind of magnolia flower, the white magnolia blossoms in the early spring, with big and spotlessly white flowers pointing upward, symbolizing the spirit of daring to outperform others and rising in great vigor. That’s why it was chosen to be the city flower of Shanghai.
City Emblem. The design of the city emblem of Shanghai was approved by the Standing Committee of ShanghaiMunicipal People’s Congress in 1990, which is a triangle pattern consisting of a white magnolia flower, a large junk (Chinese boat) and a propeller. The triangle pattern is similar to the propeller of a ship, symbolizing the continuous advancement of the city. The large junk in the middle is one of the oldest vessels plying Shanghai’s harbor, representing Shanghai’s long history as a harbor city. The setting against the large junk is a white magnolia flower blossoming in the early spring, symbolizing the energy and vitality of the city.