VI. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING: A NECESSITY FOR AN EMERGING INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CENTRE IN THE 21st CENTURY
A. Shanghai in the 21st century
What is Shanghai's future goal? lt is said that it should be established as an international centre of economy, finance and trade by the year 2010 and as one of the major international economic metropolises within little more than a decade after that.-
1. Historic track: glory and dream-s
150 years ago, Shanghai was a busy port on the south-east coast of China whose activities were completely dominated by a natural agricultural economy. Then, people cultivated their own lands and lived simple lives. Nature held the upper hand and was respected, and the relationship between human beings and nature was harmonious.
The Industrial Revolution changed the whole world and profoundly altered the traditional means of social progress and economic development. Machines took the place of land and cities' growth indicated the advance of civilization At that time, urbanization, the emergence of groups of industrial cities, was the footprint of human progress during which a new civilization was created The result of the first wave of urbanization, which occurred in the nineteenth century, was the springing up of metropolises on the shores of the Atlantic, with New York, Chicago and Toronto as the major centres. Then this phenomenon moved across North America and spread to the whole coastal area of Pacific. So on the eastern bank of the Pacific, there were Los Angeles and San Francisco and on the west bank, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Regional differentiation as well as urbanization is a common law in our world. There were two principal reasons why Shanghai was forced to open as a trading port. One was to make full use of Shanghai's geographic advantages and open a new market for western countries to sell their products for huge profits, and to accumulate capital for their rapidly expanding manufacturing industries. The other was to acquire industrial materials and agricultural products. Shanghai's urbanization was, thus, driven only by trade. It did not experience a process of industrialization and had no strong foundation of industry and manufacturing. As a result, this lack of economic capability seriously impeded its later development.
The speed of Shanghai's urbanization relied on the economic situation of other countries and the increasing growth of its population exceeded that of its industrialization and its economic developing level. In addition to its poor industrial facilities and urban infrastructures, many other deficiencies had been hidden to harm its capability of sustainable existence. After the Sino-Japanese War in 1895, western countries got many privileges to establish and run factories in China. At the same time, great changes had taken place in the economic pattern of the world, with capitalist countries changing their expansion plans and schemes from commodity exports to capital exports. So Shanghai was the recipient of more investments which speeded its economic development. In the 1930's, there were 971 commercial firms engaged in foreign trade in Shanghai, among which 559 belonged to America and Europe, 116 were Japanese and 296 were Chinese. Then Shanghai built up trading relationships with over 70 countries or areas and became one of the major international trading centres in Asia. Many financial organizations set up their branches in Shanghai to form a short-term current market and a long-term capital market. Shanghai was not only an international financial centre but also the national manufacturing centre with more than half of the gross industrial product of the whole country. It was, too, an international transportation cross-roads and one of the biggest ports in the world. It had reached the first peak of urbanization in its history - but at the cost of much of its splendour and honour.
But due to the strong colonial characteristics of Shanghai, it was difficult for it to rid itself of the economic shackles of the western countries. In 1949, there were 22 classes of industry in Shanghai, mostly light industries, among which the textile industry represented 40%. The severe structural disproportion made Shanghai's economy unable to progress normally. This basic feature existed not only in Shanghai but also in several developing countries in south-east Asia that were in the early stages of urbanization in a colonized situation. After World War Two, they all faced this type of problem, and especially after they gained independence.
After 1949, Shanghai embarked on its overall industrialization. On one hand, its whole economic capability was strengthened and the gap between it and developed countries was narrowed. There was a chance for it to make up for the disadvantages of its simple structure of manufacturing industries and lack of industrial classes in colonial times. On the other hand, it had to shoulder the heavy burden of supplying the whole country with its industrial products, and promoting and supporting the coordinated development of the national economy. After 30 years of reforms, Shanghai changed from an international central city of multi-functions to a national base of industrial products. In spite of its complete industrial classification and comprehensive facilities, it was unable to carry out industrial reform and transformation on a large scale because it had supported internal construction and been the primary source of the national taxes for a long time. Due to an irrational industrial structure and distribution, a huge consumption of materials and energy, serious pollution problems, inferior or deficient urban infrastructure and incomplete tertiary industries, Shanghai was rendered more and more unsuited to meet the challenges of a market economy. Lacking international advanced methods of production, operation and management, Shanghai was faced with a severe situation in terms of its sustainable development.
2. Challenges and opportunities
Where is Shanghai going? The developing and opening of Pudong has answered this question. Shanghai will surely rise as one of the international centres of economy, finance and trade, which is not a historical coincidence but an inevitable outcome of its special advantages. Shanghai undoubtedly has a promising future.
Between now and the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the basic framework of an international economic central city should be formed in Shanghai, and Pudong should be built up as a first class new environment: external, modern and of multi-functions. There are six goals for its development: