ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan plans to more than double exports of natural gas to China in the coming years, according to deals signed by the two countries' energy officials.

President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Tuesday presided over the signing of several deals, under which Turkmenistan is set to boost its natural gas exports to China to 65 billion cubic meters per year by 2020, up from 25 billion cubic meters this year, according to Turkmen energy officials. The deals also envisage developing a giant gas field and building another natural gas pipeline to China.

The energy-rich ex-Soviet Central Asian republics of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are China's key energy suppliers.