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Pipelines On Agenda As Turkmenistan's President Visits China

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov arrived in China on November 12 for a visit that the country's state media say is aimed at promoting the ongoing construction of natural gas pipelines between the two countries.

The Turkmenistan-China transnational gas pipeline network eventually is meant to include three pipeline routes that transit Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.

Turkmen state media call the pipeline network "the colossal project of the 21st century."

Turkmenistan currently is dependent on China for the vast majority of its natural gas sales.

But Berdymukhammedov on November 7 ordered state companies in his country to begin construction of the so-called TAPI pipeline -- which is meant to pass from eastern Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India.

Based on reporting by Interfax, AP, AFP, and BBC