Heze is a prefecture-level city in southwestern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. The westernmost prefecture-level city in Shandong, it borders Jining to the east and the provinces of Henan and Anhui to the west and south respectively. The old name of Heze was Caozhou (; Cozhu) and now a part of the city bears this name. The first character in the city's name is sometimes incorrectly written as '' instead. In August 1949 Heze was detached from Shandong and given to the experimental province of Pingyuan. It returned to Shandong just over three years later. In April 1953 Heze and Jining shared out the counties of Huxi, which is no more. Heze has a monsoon-influenced climate that lies between the humid subtropical and humid continental zones (Kppen Cwa/Dwa), with four well-defined seasons.
Contributions by Xiaoyu of Yuxi, Guardian of the Rings, and LLTimes.