The new commercial port of Zhangjiagang was built to serve the overflow of Shanghai and the new industrial area that is being developed in the region between Zhangjiagang, Shanghai and Wuxi. It is in Wuxi that the art of silk production in China developed in the shadows of unrecorded time. The town remained a sleepy backwater barely altered by the building of the Grand Canal, which was completed in the 13th century by Kublai Khan. The canal linked southern China with Beijing in the north. However, in the 1930's Shanghai business people began to rapidly expand its industry, the keystone of which was 45 silk filatures. The town also gained some importance as a transport center, trans-shipping manufactured goods and silks by water to Shanghai. After Liberation in 1949, textile production increased considerably, and light and heavy industry boomed. Today the city is known for high-tech products. Considered one of China's loveliest garden cities, Wuxi is resplendent with parks and rivers, as well as the Grand Canal, an engineering marvel in the class of the Great Wall.