Pakistan proposes building oil and gas pipeline to China

 Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf proposed building an oil and gas pipeline to China during talks with Chinese leader Hu Jintao, the China Daily newspaper said on Monday.

The Pakistani president said that a pipeline would significantly shorten the route of China's energy supplies from the Gulf. Oil and gas are currently being shipped to China along the Indian coast and through the Malacca Straits.

He added that a railway along the Karakoram Highway, linking China and Pakistan should also be built.

"If we can supplement this (the Karakoram Highway) with a rail link, and also maybe an oil and gas pipeline link; and then you take the Central Asian republics with that, the whole area will open out through Pakistan to the rest of the world," the newspaper quoted Musharraf as saying.

China currently imports over 40% of its oil. Experts predict that annual oil consumption will reach 390-410 million metric tons by 2010, and by 2030 it is expected to almost double, to 620-650 million. Demand for gas in China is expected to reach 80-100 billion cu m by 2010 and 320-280 billion cu m in 2030.

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