E’shan is the first autonomous county of Yi nationality, the first autonomous county for ethnic minorities in Yunnan, and one of the 47 old revolutionary bases in the province. It has long enjoyed the fame as the green pearl in central Yunnan. It is 102 kilometers from Kunming and 24 kilometers from Hongta District. It covers 1,972 square kilometers of land, and governs 6 townships, 2 sub-districts with a total population 155,000. There are 25 nationalities, including Yi, Han, Hani, and Hui. The ethnic groups, Yi nationality, and agricultural population take up 67.9%, 57.4% and 64.3% of the total population respectively. The mountainous area takes up 96%. Mountains, ethnic minorities, old revolutionary base, and poverty are the basic characteristics of the county. Rich ethnic culture, numerous branches of Yi nationality, ancient ancestor-worshiping rituals, jubilant Torch Festival, passionate flower-drum dance of Yi all bestow the county with colorful ethnic flavor and unique charm. It has nurtured famous calligrapher Zhou Yuli from Qing Dynasty, renowned modern painter Dong Yidao, general Fan Shisheng from Xinhai Revolution. In 2011, the Ministry of Culture named the county Home of Ethnic Culture and Art.
Eshan once was named Xi’e and was well-known in history. The name Xi’e started in use from Tang Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty. Since January 1, 1930, E’shan has been used. On January 1956, the county was finally named E’shan Yi Nationality Autonomous County. The main natural resources in the county include iron, cola, silicon, copper, zinc, kaolin, granite, marble, and wild mushrooms. The major tourist attractions include Gaoxiang Ecological Tea Garden, Xiaojie Hot Spring Resort, Bamboo Garden in Yi Valley, Fengwo Garden, Sleeping Beauty in Tadian, Natural Taichi Pattern, and Puhua Temple. Local specialties include Yulinquan Liquor, rapeseed oil, pickles, tea, and wild mushrooms.
In recent years, the local government has been making endeavors in developing its economy, improving its ecology, and boosting its culture. In 2014, its GDP reached 5.5 billion yuan, per capita GDP 33,300 yuan, local financial revenue 560 million yuan, local financial expenditure 1.36 billion yuan, fixed asset investment 4.18 billion yuan, retail sales of consumer goods 1.21 billion yuan, per capita disposable income of urban residents 27,173 yuan, and net come of rural residents 9,068 yuan.
At the moment, E’shan is in the critical time of leap-forward development. The local government is optimizing industrial structure, improving people’s livelihood, developing agriculture, changing development patterns, and promoting investment to build the county into a ecological, vigorous, peaceful, harmonious, and beautiful society. In regard with industrial development, the county takes agriculture as the basis for the leap-forward development. It has been making great effort in developing plateau characteristic agriculture, establishing livestock farming, woody oil production, and organic tobacco planting bases, and enhancing the development of organic agriculture. It takes industry as the vital support for the leap-forward development. It sticks to the development of new-type industries, construction of industrial zones, promotion of industrial cluster, upgrading of industrial structure, and realizing industrial expansion. It strengthens service industry as the important potential for the leap-forward development. It is nurturing new attraction by enriching its tourism products. It takes project construction and investment promotion as the guarantee for the leap-forward development. It will establish the county into a sub-center of Yuxi and enhance the harmonious development of the urban and rural areas.