China to aid Pakistan post-disaster reconstruction: official

16:53, December 13, 2010      

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China will continue to support Pakistan's post-disaster reconstruction, especially in agriculture and transport infrastructure, officials in Beijing said Monday.

"Pakistan suffered devastating floods this year. The Chinese people sympathized with the Pakistani people and provided substantial aid as soon as it could to help in disaster relief efforts and reconstruction," Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue said during a press briefing ahead of Premier Wen Jiabao's official visit to Pakistan.

Wen will visit Pakistan from Dec. 17 to 19 at the invitation of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Wen will also meet Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari during his visit.

"We will continue to do what we can to support the Pakistani people," said the official.

Floods in July and August hit one-fifth of Pakistan, affecting 20 million people and destroying more than 2.2 million hectares of crops and 1.7 million homes. The flooding also destroyed infrastructure.

China pledged a total of 250 million U.S. dollars to Pakistan after the floods hit the South Asian country.

"Post-disaster reconstruction is one of the major tasks for Pakistan to develop its economy," Chinese Ministry of Commerce official Liang Wentao told the briefing.

China and Pakistan are neighbors with a traditional friendship, Liang said, adding that the two help each other in times of difficulty.

Pakistan immediately provided aid when an earthquake struck Yushu County in northwest China's Qinghai Province in April.

Pakistani President Zardari attended a remembrance ceremony at the Chinese embassy in Pakistan on April 21, China's national mourning day.

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