China inks Tajikistan pipeline deal


China has 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 billion to 30 billion cu. meters of oil per year. The new pipeline is due for completion in 2016 and will run for more than 400 km within Tajikistan.

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.