The city of Tiānjīn (天津, port of heaven) was at the end of the 19th century one of the main locations for commercial trade between Europe and China. For its geographical position at the end of the Grand Canal on the Pei-ho river, Tiānjīnwas considered the Beijing port (about 120 km from the capital) and was open to the trade with the West, as treaty port, in 1860. The British, the French and the American settlements were the first to be established in the city. Tiānjīnsoon became the place witnessing the deepest process of westernization and socio-cultural transformation of urban and social life in China. At the same time, the foreign presence allowed the port to develop and become one of the most important in Asia. Between 1895 and 1902, new settlements within the territory of the treaty port were also assigned to Japan, Germany and Russia, and finally to Belgium, Austria-Hungary and Italy.