Jiangnan has long been regarded as one of the most prosperous regions in China due to its wealth in natural resources and very high human development. Many of the people of the region speak Wu Chinese dialects(吴语) as their native languages.
The Huangpu River is the city's shipping artery. It has also become a demarcating line between two Shanghais, east and west, past and future. On its western shore, the colonial landmarks of the Bund serve as a reminder of Shanghai's 19th-century struggle to reclaim a waterfront from the bogs of this river; on the eastern shore, the steel-and-glass skyscrapers of the Pudong New Area point to a burgeoning financial empire of the future.
Huaiyang cuisine (淮揚菜) is one of the Four Great Traditions in Chinese cuisine. It is derived from the native cooking styles of the region surrounding the lower reaches of the Huai and Yangtze rivers, and centred upon the cities of Huai'an, Yangzhou and Zhenjiang in Jiangsu Province.