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by Michael J. Shapiro | March 30, 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide intends to open 25 new Sheraton properties this year, including 16 in China, the company confirmed last week. The brand currently represents 30 percent of Starwood’s total development pipeline. “Sheraton is the number-one contributor to Starwood's global growth,” said Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood, in a statement. The flag’s growth in developing markets has been particularly significant, and China has become the company’s second largest market after North America. Sheraton is expected to increase its portfolio in China to 53 properties by the end of this year, and to 100 by the end of 2012.