Huaning County lies east of Yuxi City, between 102º49′ E and 103°09′ E, and 23°59′ N and 24°34′ N. It neighbors Mile, Jianshui, Tonghai, Jiangchuan, Chengjiang, and Yiliang. It is 34 kilometers long from east to west, and 59 kilometers long from north to south, with a total area of 1,313 square kilometers, of which 90% being mountainous area. It is 53 kilometers from Hongta District, the center of Yuxi City, and 148 kilometers from Kunming. The county administrates 4 townships and one sub-district, 77 village committees, 654 villages, with a total population of 218,000. It has 21 nationalities including Han, Yi, Miao, Hui, and Hani, and ethnic groups take up 29.4% of the population. It is a typical mountainous agricultural county. Forest coverage reaches 32.4% and urbanization rate reaches 40.8%.
Huaning is known as the Spring Town of China. Fuxian Lake lies on the northwestern corner of the county and 19 square kilometers of the lake belong to the county. About 630 springs scatter in the area with about 0.5 spring per square kilometer. It is said that there is Ji’nan the spring city in the north and Huaning the spring town in the south. In 1996, the program China’s Charm of CCTV made such comment on Huaning. And in 2005, the program Walk Across China-Yuxi of CCTV once again reported on Huaning. Some springs in Huaning spout into rivers and some go gurgling on. Xiangbi Spring or Elephant Trunk Spring is the most famous one. As a metasilicic acid mineral spring, it contains 21 micro-elements that are beneficial to human health and is confirmed to be high-quality mineral spring by the Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources. The water yield of Qixi Spring ranks the first in Yunnan and the third in China. Its water irrigates thousands of acres of farm fields in Panxi Township that is well-known for oranges, vegetable growing, and sugarcane. Enyong Spring in Ningzhou Township is clear all year round and nurtures the richness of the town. Numerous springs in the county benefit the local people in many ways and make their life rich and fulfilled.
The county has a long history. Based on the ceramic fragments unearthed in Haijingxin Village in Qinglong Township, human being already lived on east bank of Fuxian Lake in Neolithic Age. As early as the sixth Yuanding Period of Han Dynasty (111 B.C.), a county named Wushan was set in today’s Panxi Township. In Jincheng Period (326-334 A.D.), the majority of today’s Huaning County and a portion of Jiangchuan County were named Liangshui County. In the seventh of Tianbao Period (748 A.D.), Liangshui was named Ningbu. In 1276, the named was changed to Ningzhou. In 1912, Ningzhou was named Ning County and later Li County. In 1932, the name Huaning was used.
The county has nurtured many talented people. In Ming and Qing dynasties, the county had 129 Juren and 19 Jinshi under the imperial official selection. In Ming Dynasty, Zhang Wenli gave up promising official career and dedicated to education. Shi Zhanghai in Tumu Change took no care of his life and fought together with Yu Qian to save the country. Wang Yuanhan feared no authority and loss of personal profits and offered honest suggestions to the emperor. Liu Dashen, a famous poet and calligrapher, showed much concern on ordinary people’s livelihood and dedicated on educating more talents for the country. Zhu Jiabao from late Qing Dynasty achieved marvelous mastery of calligraphy. Zhang Huaixin served important military position in Xinhai Revolution and National Protection Movement. Li Liang, a jurist, denied offers from Japanese puppet regime, but accepted the president of the military court to make trials of the war criminals in Shanghai. In the socialist construction period, there was former secretary of the Yunnan Provincial Party Committee Pu Chaozhu and former King of Asian Tobacco Chu Shijian who made marvelous contribution to the economic development.
Huaning has rich resources. The county is bestowed with abundant natural resources and thus possesses promising development value and potentials. Xiangbi Hot Spring, east bank of Fuxian Lake, and Tanquan Spring can be development into tourist resource with characteristic plateau water town. It has ample reserve of phosphate rocks and water energy. The reserve of water energy of the whole county reaches 170,000 kilowatts. The local government has made plan to develop phosphate industry along with hydro-power. The limestone is also in affluent reserve. Zhushan Concrete Company of the county was the first to apply dry kiln preheating to produce concrete. With the high-purity limestone, advanced technology, and high-quality concrete, the company now is capable of producing 800,000 tons of concrete and 1.66 million tons of clinker annually.
The county now is at a fast-developing period. It is making great efforts to maintain the steady development and improve people’s living standards. In the first half of 2015, the county realized GDP 2.73 billion yuan, increased by 12.7%, local public financial budget income 121 million yuan, increased by 5.8%, local public budget expenditure 540 million yuan, increased by 5.0%, retail sales of consumer goods 768 million yuan, increased by 13.0%, investment from other provinces 1.16 billion yuan, increased by 34.7%, per capita disposable income of urban residents 14,316 yuan, increased by 8.8%, and per capita disposable income of rural residents 4,649 yuan, increased by 10.8%. By the end of June, the balance of deposits of all financial institutes in the county has amounted to 5.45 billion yuan and the loan balance 3.7 billion yuan, making the ratio 100:68, increased by 9% compared with the figure last year.