China's drive into the 21st century has been fueled by the relationship and competition between Beijing, considered by some observers to be the classic capital in China, and Shanghai, the nation's economic growth engine. Despite claims that Shanghai was little more than a fishing village before the arrival of foreigners in the 1840s, it was in fact a thriving commercial port free from the shackles of central government. That all changed in 1949 when Beijing exerted control, funneling its riches to the capital, leaving Shanghai in a state of limbo. Today the city is restoring its status as Asia's leading centre of trade, finance and commerce, this time with Beijing's blessing. As Beijing takes on the cloak of an international metropolis, its majesty, well reflected in its cultural gems - the Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven and the Ming Tombs - remains unfettered by the country's economic development. Observers and travelers alike will delight in seeing each city play out its colorful and dramatic role with the blessings of heaven and earth. Travelers to China must at some point visit both these dynamic cities. This vibrant new edition of Beijing & Shanghai brings readers up-to-date on what's hot and what's cool in China's twin cities.