Chinese President Hu Jintao, together with leaders of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, attended an inauguration ceremony for the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline on Monday in a gas plant near the Turkmen-Uzbek border.
At the ceremony on the right bank of the Amu Darya River, Hu, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Uzbek President Islam Karimov spoke highly of the pipeline, describing it as a successful example of cooperation among countries in the region.
The 1,833-km pipeline starts at the border between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and runs through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan before reaching northwest China's Xinjiang region.
One of the two pipelines which make up the project is completed and the other line is expected to be operational next year.
The pipelines are connected to China's domestic natural gas pipeline network and thus capable of transporting natural gas produced in Turkmenistan to major Chinese cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Chinese officials said that the pipeline will serve the long-term interests of China and Central Asian nations, and will promote the social and economic development of the countries in the region.
Turkmenistan's state media said that delivering gas supplies to China is important for the implementation of the country's strategy to diversify energy exports at world market.