Suzhou Creek is a river that passes through Shanghai’s city center. It takes its name from the neighboring city of Suzhou, which was the primary settlement in the area prior to the rise of Shanghai. Suzhou Creek has played an important role throughout Shanghai's history. After the Treaty of Nanjing forced China to open up in 1842 and Shanghai became an international trade port, the river formed the boundary between the British concession and the American settlement until both concessions were merged into the International Settlement in 1863. Today the areas near the Bund offer great chances to photograph the Shanghai skyline.