Huaihua lies is in the mountainous west of Hunan, south-east of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and shares the same mountain belt.
The area's rural poverty is a continuing problem.
Railroads provide the main transportation in the region, although an airport was opened in 2004.
Huaihua is home to the Second Artillery Corps Base 55, which is charged with maintaining ICBMs. The nuclear assets at Huaihua are intended for small-scale nuclear conflicts (with a limited, but nuclear, exchange), as well as the ability to strike Guam, one of only two B-2 bases.