BEIJING (Agencies) - China vowed Thursday to do what it could to help cash-strapped Pakistan avert financial disaster as President Asif Ali Zardari continued an official visit aimed at rustling up crucial Chinese investments. The promise came as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met President Asif Ali Zardari, who is on his first official visit abroad after being elected in September. "As a long friend of Pakistan, China understands it is facing some financial difficulties," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters. "We're ready to support and help Pakistan within our capability." The Financial Times newspaper has reported, without citing sources, that Zardari would seek a soft loan of between 500 million and 1.5 billion dollars from China to help Pakistan avoid looming bankruptcy. However, Qin offered no specifics on the form that Beijing's financial help would take. China's state news agency Xinhua Thursday released the text of a joint statement between China and Pakistan which covered economic cooperation and foreign policy issues but was short on details. Describing Pakistan as a dear brother and trusted partner, the statement said China would work hard to lift their strategic partnership to a new high under the new circumstances. The friendship between China and Pakistan has withstood the test of time and practice, notwithstanding changes in the international, regional and domestic environments, it said. "The all-weather friendship and all-round cooperation have become the distinctive features of China-Pakistan relations," it said. Hu and Zardari reached "broad agreement on strengthening China-Pakistan strategic partnership of cooperation and on international and regional issues of mutual interest under the new circumstances," the statement said, without elaborating. Both sides agreed that to develop mutually beneficial cooperation and deepen strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Pakistan serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and contributes to peace and development in the region. "Pakistan appreciated the strong support and assistance provided by the government and people of China to Pakistan in its economic development," the joint statement said. Pakistan's ambassador to China, Masood Khan, said earlier this week in an interview with a private TV channel an agreement on a civilian nuclear pact with China could be reached during the trip. But Qin declined to give any details on the agreements made so far. "I'm not aware of the specifics of the deals signed," he said. China's Foreign Ministry had earlier confirmed the nuclear issue would be discussed but gave no specifics. The joint statement quoted by Xinhua highlighted the importance of Pakistan-China ties. "Pakistan stressed that (the) Pakistan-China relationship is the cornerstone of its foreign policy, and friendship with China represents the common desire of all Pakistani people," it said. Meanwhile, President Zardari Thursday met Chairman of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin and exchanged views to further strengthen the multi-faceted, time-tested and strategic ties between Pakistan and China. During the meeting at the State Guest House, President Zardari said Pakistan and China enjoy deep-rooted, strong relations spanning three generations. He vowed to take these forward to the next generation for the mutual benefit of the two countries. Zardari said he was in China to take forward the legacy of great leaders Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Premier Zhou Enlai who laid the foundation of Pak-China friendship. He thanked the Chairman CPPCC for inviting him and said this provided an opportunity of exchanging views on various matters of bilateral cooperation. Chairman CPPCC Jia Qinglin congratulated Zardari on his election as Pakistan's democratic head of state and said CPPCC welcomes him on the state visit. Jia Qinglin appreciated the in-depth discussions between President Zardari and President Hu and hoped that this visit will go a long way in further strengthening the historic Pak-China bonds which have withstood the test of time. Earlier, Chairman Jia Qinglin warmly received President Zardari on his arrival at the State Guest House. He also hosted a reception in his honour. The President's delegation included Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Environment Minister Hamidullah Jan Afridi, Interior Advisor Rehman Malik, Advisor on Finance and Economic Affairs Shaukat Tarin, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, PPP Secretary General Jehangir Badr and Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan. Meanwhile, Pakistan and China reiterated their commitment to play their role for peace, development and prosperity of the region by strengthening their multi-faceted relations and cooperation in diverse fields. "The visit of President Zardari to China has been very successful, and also described as monumental by the Chinese Foreign Minister", Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said here on Thursday. Briefing the mediapersons about Thursday's meetings between President Zardari and the Chinese leaders, the Foreign Secretary said that President Zardari in his meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to strengthen Pak-China time-tested ties and strategic partnership in every sphere of life including trade and development. Premier Wen Jiabao, he said, reiterated to continue the Chinese support and assistance by promoting trade and economic cooperation. "Here was determination on both the sides to further strengthen the existing trade and economic cooperation including in the mega projects of infrastructure, energy, mineral development, defence production, science and technology etc," Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said. He said as Pakistan and China have a five-year economic development program, it was decided that a meeting of the joint economic committee would soon be held in Islamabad. The meeting, he added, would explore the avenues of preferential treatment to Chinese investment in Pakistan as well as the provision of soft credit by the Chinese banks and financial institutions.