China opens pipeline to bring gas from Myanmar

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BEIJING (AP) — China says it has switched on a new pipeline bringing natural gas from Myanmar. It's a project that has raised concerns in Myanmar's nascent civil society about whether its giant neighbor's resource grabs will benefit local people.

China National Petroleum Corporation says the pipeline connects the Bay of Bengal with southwest China's Yunnan province and is expected to transfer 12 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China annually. A parallel pipeline that will carry Middle East oil is still under construction.

While the pipelines are only expected to provide a small proportion of China's energy needs, they are strategically important. The gas pipeline that began operating Sunday offers Beijing a nearby source of gas.

The two joint ventures involve CNPC and five companies in Myanmar, India and South Korea.

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