Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Despite its environmental impact, China has begun building a 4,200-kilometre gas pipeline costing us $18 billion. Its aim: boosting economic growth in the impoverished western provinces and delivering fuel to the booming eastern city of Shanghai.

The pipeline's trial construction has already kicked off in fragile wetlands and on the Yangtze, Yellow and Huai rivers. Although western analysists question the economic viability of the project, the Chinese government is encouraging the project to reduce dependence on imported oil.

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