The City of Lu'an, nicknamed "Wanxi (West Anhui)", is located at the northern foot of Dabie Mountain. It is now the central city of the Dabie Mountain area. At present, there're two districts, five counties and two provincial development zones under its jurisdiction. They're Jin'an District, Yu'an District, Shouxian County, Huoqiu County, Jinzhai County, Huoshan County, Shucheng County, Lu'an Economic and technological development zone and reform pilot development zone. The city consists of altogether 188 townships and 8 neighborhood committees with a total area of 17,976 square km and a total population of 6,649,000. There're 29 nationals in Lu'an with Han as the majority. The minority ethnic nationals accounting for 0.7%, among which Hui is the largest minority ethnic national. In 2003, the GDP reached 20.81 billion yuan, of which the First Industry account for 6.54 billion yuan, the Second Industry 7.21 billion yuan and the Third Industry 7.06 billion yuan. Total revenue is 1.45 billion yuan.
The human activities in Lu'an can be dated back to the Neolithic Age. During the Ancient Period this area was inhabited by Yan families of Gaoyao tribe. After Gaoyao died, he was buried in a place called "Lu". king Yu later on gave the land to Gaoyao's son to conduct sacrificial activities. So Lu'an is also called "Gaocheng -- the town of Gaoyao". In Western Zhou Dynasty here existed several small states like Ying, Lu, Liao and Shu. During the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period, this place belonged to Chu State. In Qin Dynasty it belonged to Jiujiang Prefecture. In 121 BC, Emperor Hanwudi setup Lu'an Mu, which means peaceful place without rebels, hence the name of "Lu'an". During the Three Kingdoms Period, Lu'an was controlled by Wei State. In the Jin Dynasty, Lu'an was divided into three different parts under the jurisdiction of Anfeng Prefecture of Yuzhou, Huainan Prefecture and Lujiang Prefecture of Yangzhou. In Tang Dynasty, there're two counties set up here called Shucheng County and Shengtang County, and was under the jurisdictions of Shouzhou and Luzhou. This administrative jurisdiction remained almost unchanged throughout the Northern and Southern Song Dynasty. At the end of Yuan Dynasty, Lu'an Prefecture was set up here. In Ming Dynasty the northern part belonged to Shouzhou and the southern part belonged to Lu'anzhou. In the early Qing Dynasty Lu'an belonged to Shouzhou and Lu'anzhou, both are under the jurisdiction of Jiangnan Province. After Jiangnan Province was divided into Jiangsu Province and Anhui Province, This place belonged to Lu'anzhou within Anhui Province. After the founding of Republic of China, Shouxian County and Huoqiu County belonged to Huaisi Prefecture. The rest counties belonged to Anqing Prefecture. In 1931, a workers and peasants democratic government was setup here in five counties of Lu'an, Huoshan, Yinshan, Luotian and Shucheng. In January 1949, Lu'an was liberated and the Lu'an Prefecture Commissioner Office was set up, which was affiliated to the Northern Anhui Administrative Office. In 1952, the Northern and Southern Anhui Administrative offices were merged into Anhui Province. After that, Lujiang County once became part of Lu'an Prefecture, later on became part of Chaohu Prefecture. Feixi County had been merged into Lu'an Prefecture twice before it finally merged into Hefei Municipality. In 1978, Lu'an City was setup on the basis of the town of Lu'an County and its suburban area. Lu'an City remained at county level until September 1999, when the Lu'an Prefecture was removed and the City of Lu'an was promoted to the prefecture level. The former area of the county level Lu'an City was divided into two parts and became Jin'an and Yu'an districts of the prefecture level Lu'an City. In March of 2000, Lu'an City was put under the direct administration of Anhui Provincial Government.
Historically Lu'an's location was of great strategic position. It was described in one ancient poem as "surrounded by mountains, Lu'an not only serves as a natural barrier to the southeast but also controls the four directions between Changjiang and Huaihe Rivers." A number of historical events taking place here exerted great influence to the Chinese history development. At the end of Warring States Period, King of Chu moved its capital to Shouchun (nowadays Shouxian County of Lu'an), making it as Chu's center of politics, economics and culture. In October of 383 AD, Eastern Jin Dynasty launched a war against Former Qin Dynasty on the bank of Feishui River in Shouchun (nowadays Shouxian), and won the war. This war is known as Feishui War and changed the situation of "strong north and weak south", making the north and south confront each other, and finally leading to the founding of Southern and Northern Dynasties. During the 1911 Revolution, the strong Huai Army born from Shouzhou (nowadays Shouxian) became a powerful army of the bourgeois revolutionaries. It recovered 23 counties including Lu'an, Huoqiu, Yinshan, Fuyang, etc., greatly pushing forward the revolutionary progress in the area between Changjian and Huaihe Rivers, writing a glorious page in Chinese Contemporary History.
Lu'an is a famous revolutionary base. As early as in 1920, a number of leading intellectuals, such as Zhu Yunshan, a veteran fighter of the 1911 Revolution, set up a "Chinese Revolution Group", publicizing Marxism and engaging in anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism activities. A special CPC sub-branch was set up in Shouxian County in 1923. This sub-branch was the CPC's earliest party organization and was under the direct leadership of the central CPC committee. The special CPC's sub-branch led two uprisings called Lixiajie Uprising and Liuhuo Uprising, and found the Red Army's No.11, No.12 and No.13 Divisions, making Wanxi (West Anhui) as a cradle of the Red Army and a revolutionary base, which is an important part of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Revolutionary Base.
In March, 1932, Xu Xiangqian commanded the Sujiapo War Campaign against the third "Round-Up" of the Guomingtang Army. This campaign lasted for 48 days and an unprecedented victory finally was won in the area of Hubei, Hunan, Anhui and Jiangsu.
During the earlier days of Anti-Japanese War, Lu'an once became the capital of Anhui Province with both important communist and nationalist (Guomingtang) party organizations set up here. In Feburary, 1938, the Anti-Japanese Mass Mobilization Committee of Anhui Province was set up in Lu'an. Dong Biwu once led the campaign. In June, 1947, the Field Army of Shangxi, Hubei, Shangdong and Henan led by Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping expedited to Dabie Mountain, making critical turn in the Chinese Revolutionary War.
Since ancient time, the place has given birth to many brilliant talents. Such as Gaoyao who served as an assistant to the King of Shun and the King of Yu in the Ancient Time, Wen Weng who promoted opening schools, education and culture development in Sichuan in the Han Dynasty, Zhou Yu who was a famous general of the Wu State during the Three Kingdoms Period, Li Gongling who was a famous painter in the Song Dynasty, Yu Benyuan and Yu Benheng who were noted veterinarians in the Ming Dynasty, Yao Jianai who was the royal tutor in the Qing Dynasty and the founder of the nowadays Beijing University. There are also many famous figures in Chinese contemporary history like Bo Wenwei, Zhang Huitao, Fang Zhenwu, Sun Liren and Jiang Guangci, who were famous generals or writers. In the period of the new democratic revolutionary, there emerged many proletariat pioneers represented by Xu Jisheng. In the 1950s and 1960, military ranks were conferred to the PLA generals. There were all together 130 generals from Anhui Province conferred military ranks. Those of Wanxi (West Anhui) origin accounted for 85% of the province total, reaching 108 persons. There're nine so-called "General Counties" nationwide. Lu'an has two - Jinzhai County and the former Lu'an County, reputed as the "Home Town of Generals."
Lu'an is located between Changjian and Huaihe Rivers, bordering on Hefei to the east, Anqing to the south, Xinyang to the west, and Huainan and Fuyang to the north. Being a central city of the Huaihe River Economic Area, it is connected to Huabei Henan Provinces and Central China. The No. 312, 206, 105 State Highways, Hefei-Jiujiang Railway, Nanjing-Xian Railway and Peihuan waterway run across Lu'an. It takes only one hour from the city of Lu'an to Hefei airport by highway, so the transportation here is very convenient.
Lu'an is abundant in natural resources. It has rich high quality water resources with 5 big reservoirs Fuziling, Meishan, Longhekou, Xianghongdian, Mozitang reservoirs, accommodating 6.73 billion cubic meters water. It has over 3,800 species of trees and herbaceous plants, more than 500 amphibians and amniotes. It produces over 110 high quality agricultural and sideline products, over 1,400 kinds of herbal medicines. Its output of cereals, oil-bearing crop, cotton, hemp, tea, silk worm cocoon, chestnut, poultry, pork, eiderdown and aquatic products ranks the first place in Anhui Province. Lu'an green tea, white goose, eiderdown, etc are well known all over China. There're over 30 kinds of mineral reserves under ground, including iron, gold, lead, zinc, quartz, granite and cement.
Lu'an is also rich in tourist resources with beautiful landscapes and places of historical and cultural interest. It boasts one state-level forest park Tiantangzhai Forest Park, and many scenic spots such as Nanyueshan Mountain, Tongluozhai, Wanfo Mountain, Bagong Mountain, etc., and many holiday resorts such as the Thousand Buddha Lake, Anfeng Lake, Shuimen Lake. It has a national cultural city -- Shouxian County, with the Song Dynasty city wall preserved intact to this day. Lu'an also has many ancient tombs, ancient battlefields, and many revolutionary memorial places under the key protection of the national or provincial level.
After the founding of new China, many Party or state leaders like Chairman Mao, Zhu De, Zhou Enlai, Den Xiaoping have visited Lu'an. In 1991, Lu'an was struck by a heavy flood. Party Secretary Jiang Zeming and Li Peng came here and paid visits to the victims of the flood. Lu'an is also one of the pilot places for rural reform. As early as in 1978, farmers in Lu'an county, Guanting County and other places organized by themselves to contract the land by household in order to combat the serious drought. This method later on was spread to the whole rural area of Lu'an. Since China practiced the policy of reform and opening to the outside world, Lu'an has made rapid economic and social development. In 2001, its agricultural output is up to 7.18 billion yuan, industrial output up to 19.57 billion yuan, an increase of 21.56 times and 39.7 times respectively on the year of 1978. The proportion of the third industry in its GDP changed from 18.4% in 1978 to 32.4%. Tourist and private economy are booming and becoming growth contributing factors in Lu'an's economy. The urbanization scale is keeping on expanding and its urbanization level was raised to 19.8% from 8.2% in 1978. Great changes have taken place in the rural area. All the villages have electricity, postal service and all have been covered by the TV broadcasting network. 85% framers moved to new houses, 95% villages have highways connected to the outside world. People's living standard is improving step by step. For many years, the city government has put into effect all the preferential treatments to help the poor-stricken area to shake off poverty, with working focus on raising farmers technical and educational level, introducing investment and development, and exporting labor services to the outside. These practices have helped 2.71 million people get rid of poverty. In 2003, farmers average net income reaches 1,236 yuan, workers' average net income reaches 8,312 yuan. The goal of "two basic" education has been realized. Two colleges were founded Wanxi College and Lu'an Occupational Technical College. Progress has been made in the field of TV broadcasting and cultural construction. People's health care and medical conditions has been improved. The whole city has shaken off poverty and is entering into a new stage toward a better-off society.
Being an old revolutionary base, a new tourist city, rich in natural resources and agricultural products, Lu'an is a promising city with great potentials in development. In this 21 century, the municipal CPC committee and municipal government will continue putting into practice Jiang Zemin's "Three Represents" with the guide of Deng Xiaoping theory, make every effort in pushing forward the agricultural industrialization, urbanization, education, and long lasting development. By the end of the tenth five-year plan, the city of Lu'an will be a medium-sized city with sound infrastructure and functions with a total area of 40 square kilometers and a population of 400,000.