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China Confirms New Gas Pipeline through Tajikistan

W460

China's Xi Jinping at a regional summit signed a deal to build a gas pipeline through the impoverished ex-Soviet country of Tajikistan, Tajik television reported Saturday.

The pipeline will transport gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to China in as part of a huge supply deal.

"Carrying out this project will allow us to attract more than $3 billion of direct investments from Chin into the economy of Tajikistan," said the press service of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon.

It will supply China with 25-30 billion cubic metres of oil per year, the press service said.

China is eyeing the vast oil and gas resources of ex-Soviet Central Asia for its fast-growing domestic economy and is also keen to assert political influence in a region that was dominated by Moscow for decades.

Xi and Putin met at a regional security conference held by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek.

The new pipeline is due for completion in 2016 and will run for more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) within Tajikistan.

The mountainous country is the poorest ex-Soviet republic and dependent on remittances from its nationals doing manual labor in Russia.

Xi is carrying out a four-nation tour of Central Asia.

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