Heze is situated in southwest Shandong and shares borders with Jiangsu, Henan and Anhui provinces. It administers one county-level Heze city and eight counties, namely Caoxian, Dingtao, Chengwu, Shanxian, Juye, Yuncheng, Dongming and Juancheng, with a total area of over 12,000 square kilometers and a population of 8.1 million.
Heze is endowed with natural resources and regarded as one of China’s important production bases for grain, cotton, peanuts, fruits, vegetables, livestock and forestry resources. Forests make up 21% of Heze land. The volume of timber in storage is 12 million cubic meters. It is the largest production base for peony, China national flower. Its output of grain and cotton is ranked top among all the cities in Shandong. It is also rich in iron ore, coal, oil and natural gas. Coal reserves account for 50% of the province’s total reserves.