China Hopes Myanmar Pipeline Eases Strain

March 2013, Vol. 240, No. 3

Construction of China’s trans-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines could help ease strained trade relations. The 1,100-km Myanmar-China oil pipeline will take tran-shipped oil from the Middle East and a parallel gas pipeline carrying gas from fields on Myanmar’s continental shelf in the Bay of Bengal.

Construction of the pipelines began in 2009; only the finishing touches on parts of the pipeline in Yunnan province remain. The pipeline is scheduled for commissioning in May.

Chinese firms are involved in huge projects in Myanmar for its resources. China’s dominance in Myanmar’s foreign trade has been challenged. Last year, China’s share of Myanmar’s imports fell 4% to 30% and its share of exports fell by half to 13%. Japan, which saw its exports to Myanmar triple last year, has been granted rights to develop vast land areas.

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