Pakistan president visits China

Asif Ali Zardari meets counterpart to discuss investment and nuclear ties.

    Zardari is making his first visit to China since becoming president last month [AFP]

    The London-based Financial Times newspaper reported on Wednesday that Zardari was also keen to secure a soft loan of between $500m and $1.5bn to help steer Pakistan away from potential bankruptcy, without citing sources.

    Nuclear talks

    A deal between Pakistan and China on civil nuclear power is also thought to be up for discussion during Zardari's visit.

    An agreement on civil nuclear power would follow a similar deal between India and the United States.

    Qin Gang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said Beijing and Islamabad shared "sound co-operation in nuclear energy" but did not give any details on any deal.

    "I would like to stress our co-operation is totally consistent with the two countries' respective international obligations and is totally for peaceful purpose and subject to IAEA [a UN nuclear inspectorate] supervision," Qin said on Tuesday.

    The visit comes amid tensions between Islamabad and Washington over the direction of an alliance aimed at cracking down on fighters linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

    In a recent interview with China's Xinhua news agency, Zardari he wished to strengthen ties with Beijing in order to strengthen efforts against the fighters.

    Zardari is set to meet Wen Jiabao, China's prime minister, on Thursday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.