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China Promises to Help Cash-Strapped Pakistan


China has promised to do all it can to help longtime ally Pakistan overcome its financial difficulties.

Reports from Beijing Thursday say Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made the promise during a meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who is visiting China.

A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, Qin Gang, told reporters after the meeting that China is ready to support Pakistan "within its capability." He did not specify what kind of assistance Beijing would provide.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's president and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao signed more than 10 deals on cooperation in areas including economy, trade, mining and agriculture.

Mr. Zardari is seeking economic agreements and assistance in an effort to save Pakistan from economic collapse.

The Financial Times newspaper reported that Pakistan's president was to seek more than $500 million in loans from China and a nuclear energy accord. But Chinese state media did not mention any agreements in these areas.

Pakistan's president arrived in China on Tuesday for a four-day state visit. This is his first visit abroad since he took office last month.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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