PIPELINE OPEN: China says it has switched on a nearly 500 mile pipeline bringing natural gas from Myanmar, connecting the Bay of Bengal with southwest China's Yunnan province.

THE RATIONALE: The pipeline is expected to provide only a small proportion of China's gas consumption, it is strategically important to Beijing as A nearby source of gas

CONCERNS: The project has raised concerns in Myanmar about whether it will benefit local people. China's investments, largely in energy and mining, have generated controversy in Myanmar because they have done little to relieve that country's chronic power shortages.