As the hometown of Zhou Enlai, the former premier of China, Huai'an is a famous historical and cultural city, as well as a beautiful city with many scenic spots.
Huai'an covers an area of 10,072 square kilometers, with a registered population of 5.6 million by the end of 2019. The city administers four districts of Qingjiangpu, Huaiyin, Huai'an and Hongze, and three counties of Lianshui, Jinghu and Xuyi.
It is located in the hinterland of northern Jiangsu and is adjacent to Yancheng city on the east, Yangzhou city on the south, Anhui province on the west, and Lianyungang, Xuzhou and Suqian on the north.
It also sits in the heart of the Yangtze River Delta region and is a major city in northern Jiangsu province, which enjoys only 2, 4 and 8 hours' ride to neighboring cities such as Nanjing, Shanghai and Beijing. With the Grand Canal and ancient Huaihe River traveling across it, Huai'an is also famous for hosting Hongze Lake, the fourth largest freshwater lake in China.
Abundant aquatic products, special fowls, vegetables, fruits, high-grade grain and other farm and sideline specialties are hence rich in this land. Huai'an, along with Yangzhou, are origins of the Huaiyang cuisine, one of the eight major cuisines in China featuring bringing out the authentic freshness from raw materials.
Huai'an has also won many honorary titles, such as a national historical and cultural city, a national health city, a national garden city, a national environmental protection model city, a national low-carbon pilot city, and China's outstanding tourism city.
A panoramic view of Huai'an city in East China's Jiangsu province [Photo/huaian.gov.cn]
Huai'an's GDP reached 384 billion yuan ($54 billion) in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 6.7 percent. Investment on fixed assets above a designated size also grew by 6.5 percent. The total retail sales of consumer goods increased by 8 percent year-on-year.
It has also brought in 210 projects with investment exceeding 100 million yuan, and 30 of them have attracted investment of over 1 billion yuan. Fifteen of the 130 newly set foreign-funded projects have won investment of more than $100 million.
The per capital disposable income for urban and rural residents reached 38,870 and 18,500 yuan respectively, up 8.5 percent year-on-year.
History & Culture
Huai'an, initially set up as a county in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), has a history of over 2,200 years. Legend goes that Yu, the first king of the Xia Dynasty (c.21st century-16th century BC) once harnessed water in this area and offered the favorable condition that the local "Huaihe River will remain safe and quite forever", the city's name Huai'an, which means the tranquility of Huaihe River, was hence obtained.
The city has found the trace of ancestors as early as five to six thousand years ago and were recorded as the "Qinglian'gang Culture" in local chronicles.
Huai'an, together with Suzhou, Hangzhou and Yangzhou, have been ranked as the four major cities along the Grand Canal in ancient times. The Huai'an section of the Grand Canal was also on the list of World Heritage announced by the UNESCO.
A modern glimpse into Huai'an in East China's Jiangsu province [Photo/huaian.gov.cn]