Beijing, Oct 17 : During Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's ongoing four-day state visit, China has promised its long time ally (Pakistan) to help it come out of the financial crunch. Pakistan is currently facing an inflation rate of 25 percent, and said to be having a budget that could not last more than a month.
"As a long friend of Pakistan, China understands it is facing some financial difficulties. We're ready to support and help Pakistan within our capability," the Daily Times quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang as telling reporters at a media briefing.
He said that China would extend all possible help to Pakistan "within its capability" to help it avert the looming financial disaster.
The Chinese spokesman, however, offered no specifics on the form of Beijing's financial help.
Incidentally, it was because of cheap Chinese imports that Pakistan's manufacturing sector had suffered over the past few years, though the overall economy benefited from Chinese investment and cut-rate prices for infrastructure projects such as road building and telecommunications.
China is already a leading source of investment for Pakistan. Bilateral trade between the two countries topped 7 billion dollars last year, with a goal of reaching 15 billion dollars by 2011.
Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan said earlier this week an agreement on a civilian nuclear pact with China could be reached during the trip.