Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, have attended a ceremony launching production at Turkmenistan's southern Galkynysh gas field.
The September 4 ceremony came after Berdymukhammedov and Xi met a day earlier to discuss boosting supplies of Turkmen gas to China. China has given Turkmenistan $8 billion to help develop the Galkynysh site, the world's second-largest gas field.
The ceremony coincided with the signing of a new deal that would see China increasing imports of Turkmen gas to 65 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually by 2020 via a pipeline from Turkmenistan to China, built mainly with Chinese funding.
Turkmenistan was contracted to ship some 40 bcm to China per year. Xi is making his first visit to Central Asia since becoming China's president and is also due to visit Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Based on reporting by Trend.az and ITAR-TASS