Town (population 1998 est.: 490,300), Shanghai municipality, eastern China. It was a superior prefecture under the Ming and Qing dynasties. Originally a major rice-growing centre, by the 18th century it had gained an international reputation for cotton textiles. During the Taiping Rebellion (1850–64) it was badly damaged in the fighting to defend Shanghai; it is the burial place of the U.S. adventurer Frederick T. Ward, who commanded Western troops who fought the rebellion. Shanghai's phenomenal 19th-century growth took away the town's role as a commercial centre; although it remains dominated by Shanghai, it has some industry and is a tourist destination for Shanghai residents.
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