In preparation for China’s President Xi visit to Turkmenistan this autumn, advance teams from China have been arriving to Ashgabat. Last week, a delegation led by China’s head of the State Office for Energy, Wu Sinsun, and Vice Foreign Minister, Cheng Guoping, came to discuss trade, economic, and energy cooperation. Turkmenistan’s increasing importance to China is due to its role as China’s largest foreign supplier of natural gas, with over 21.3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Turkmen gas imports in 2012 (51.4 percent of imports), according to data published by the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. These figures will only increase with the opening of the Galkynysh gas field this fall, which will feed the 1,833-kilometer Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China pipeline.
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