Clinging to the Yellow River, standing in the Central Plain, Heze is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. It is adjacent to the hometown of Confucius, and close to Mount Tai. The vicissitudes of Tang Tower, Fan Li Lake, Sun Bin’s Hometown, Qin holes and other attractions seem to be telling about the ages of legend. Caozhou Peony Garden, the Ancient Peony Park, the Yellow River Forest Park, Floating Dragon Lake and King Zhao River Park are showing a modern and excellent city of Heze to the world.
The city is well-known as the hometowns of opera, painting and calligraphy, martial arts and folk arts. Heze has varieties of operas with a long history, among which Shandong clappers, Ohira tune, Two strings, Local clappers and Ryuko drama are peculiar dramas. Historically, Heze people love martial arts so much. There are as many as 39 different groups, such as Plum Flower and Hong Quan and some famous martial art schools, like Yuncheng Songjiang school and Caozhou martial art school. Heze has historical folk customs and colorful arts, and the number of national intangible cultural heritage ranks the third place in the prefecture-level cities.
“Caozhou Peony flowers are Number One in the world.” In the annual season of Guyu, you will see blooming peony flowers either in the park or in the lanes, from the cities to villages. Breathing the intoxicating fragrance, countless tourists are walking among the sea of flowers. The annual International Peony Fair has helped Heze become well-known all over the world. Heze Peony has nine series of colors, ten types of flowers, among 1237 varieties, with a planting area of 460,000 Chinese Mu.
Peony is named the King of flowers. The roots of the plants are widely used to make Chinese medicine. In addition to the ornamental and medicinal values, they have been made for tea, seed oil, skin care products and health care products. Peony industrial developing has potential and broad prospects in some special enterprises like Yao Shun Heze Peony Biological Technology Co., Ltd. and Heze Peony Research Institute. Heze government has formulated 2 million Chinese Mu of planting plan by the end of 2020, and determined to make peony manufacturing the most competitive special industries. Currently, Heze has become the largest peony cultivation, ornamental, research and export base of the world.
Heze is very rich in water resources. It is the first city which the Yellow River reaches in Shandong, with annual water diversion of 1.25 billion cubic meters. Dotted with inner rivers and lakes, four counties lie along the Yellow River. Invested by 5.5 billion yuan, thirteen reservoirs are under constructions, with a storage capacity of 124 million cubic meters. Heze Zhushui River has been dug to get ready for shipping.
Heze’s grain output covers one eighth of Shandong Province, and cotton production does one-third of it. Heze is the largest forest production, processing, trade and export base of the plain areas. Forest coverage rate reaches 33.6 %. The total storage capacity has come to over 28 million cubic meters, covering one fifth of Shandong. Meanwhile, Heze is the largest cattle and sheep production base among the agricultural areas. Luxi cattle, sheep and goat are considered as “The Three National Treasures”. “Villages can’t be seen at day, lights unseen at night. Forests lie in a plain, granaries seen in forests.”--This is the true portrayal of rich agricultural and forestry resources in Heze.
Heze is also rich in mineral resources. The oil reserves is up to 52.65 million tons. 10 million tons of crude oil has been transported for use every year. It has 27.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves and estimated reserves of more than 400 million tons of rock salt. 2.81 billion tons of coal is of low ash, low sulfur and phosphorus, but of high-calorie coal. Juye coalfield is the largest, with the most reserves and the best quality coal in East China. With the development of oil, gas and a large number of coal chemical projects, Heze will become an important energy and chemical industry base of Shandong.
Being one of the transportation hub cities, Heze has a very convenient traffic system. Expressways are crossing here. Beijing-Kowloon Railway and new Yan-Shi railway meet here. Heze Airport is under research. Heze-Qufu express railway has been approved for construction. Qingdao bonded zone has been authorized to set sections in Heze. Jinan Iron Group has started a construction of Heze logistics zone. Adequate supply of electricity, telecommunications, water supply, heating, gas, sewage treatment, waste disposal and other infrastructure facilities are being improved. A number of public cultural facilities are making the city more robust in functionality, including Heze Theatre, Martial Performance Stadium, Round-city Park, king Zhao River Park, Peony Square and Heze Library. With constantly optimized business environment, Heze will strive to achieve the border area of Shandong, Jiangsu, Henan and Anhui, with principles of “the shortest processing time, lowest charges, best market order and the best business environment”.
The rapid expansion of the total economy benefits from the implementations of five leading projects, involving the energy , chemical , biomedical, mechanical and electrical equipment manufacturing, agricultural processing, trade and logistics. The output value of bio-pharmaceutical industry has come to the second place in Shandong, with developing high- efficiency finished drugs, making Heze strive into “Top Ten National Pharmaceutical Industry Cities”.
Energy and chemical industry is on the way to accelerate the integration process, focusing on efforts to build the national major modern integrated energy and chemical base. The petrochemical industry scale has reached the 5th place of the province. Mechanical and electrical equipment manufacturing industry is mainly to develop own brands and improve industry concentration as the core. A group of enterprises with income of over ten billion has been built. The agricultural processing industry is aimed to leading enterprises, promoting grain, fruits, vegetables, forestry, livestock, textile and other deeply processing industries. The city is accelerating the construction of large-scaled commercial logistics zones, professional wholesale markets, trade logistics companies and ancillary supporting projects. Five business logistics zones will be set up, with income of 10 billion each.
E-commerce industry is also under development. The government has taken measures to speed up the development and the establishment of normalization training mechanism, to cultivate a number of bases and business models, and to create a number of Taobao villages or towns. In order to promote the development of e-commerce industry cluster agglomeration, Heze is constructing the electricity supplier industrial parks, with network optimization, traffic, processing storage and other ancillary services.
With a rapid pace of economic internationalization, international exchanges and cooperated programs have become more and more increasingly active. Heze has made sister-cities with Kim Po in South Korea, Columbus in Brazil, Flebindo in Uruguay, Baton Rouge in USA , Bollnas in Sweden and Orelin Russia. With the continuous improvement of internationalization, foreign investments have expanded in the city. Foxconn, Hong Kong Hua Run Group, Hong Kong China Gas Company and other Fortune 500 companies have put into production, involving chemicals, energy, mechanical and electrical equipment manufacturing and many other industries. A large number of enterprises have gone abroad, to invest in Germany, Australia, Canada, the United States, France and other countries or regions. It has a rapid development of foreign trades, among 1,200 import and export enterprises, involving 10 series and more than 10,000 varieties of fine chemicals, textile and clothing, fruits and vegetables, wooden furniture, straw strip series, fur clothing, ceramic products, human hair products, flowers, crafts and others. The export market has covered more than 180 countries in five continents.
The State Council and Shandong government have taken series of policies and measures to help Heze. “A breakthrough in Heze” strategy, implementing strategic combination between the east and west, four provinces’ border areas of scientific development highland strategy, and Luxi economic uplift development plan have been implemented into the formal stage. Heze has been incorporated into the Central Plains Economic Zone by the NDRC since 2012, and enjoyed the national and provincial support for multiple policies. This has greatly inspired people to undertake more.
Currently, the whole city, both in economic and social development, has entered the best and fastest period. Heze has been standing at a new historical starting point. Heze people will cherish the rare historical opportunity, as well as the good foundation of accumulated years of struggling, and making every effort to catch up with others.