WHILE President Zardari and President Hu Jintao stressed the need for deepening the Pak-China strategic partnership, the immediate achievement of the parleys were 11 agreements, MoUs and protocols envisaging cooperation in economic, scientific, technical and cultural fields. One hopes that the financial crunch faced by Pakistan and cooperation in civil nuclear technology, needed to increase power generation, would have also come under discussion. The inclusion of the Governor the People's Bank of China at the delegation level meeting indicates the Chinese side expected the issue of Pakistan's financial crunch to come up. China has also indicated that after the US-India nuclear pact, Pakistan too should have access to civil nuclear technology. However whatever development took place on these two issues during the talks remains unknown. Having in mind the attempts by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto to cement Pak-China ties, President Hu noted that Mr Zardari's entire family are old friends of the Chinese people and that "this is something we will never forget". The old ties can be helpful as the two countries explore the economic dimension of their relations. Mr Zardari has offered Chinese investors preferential treatment and underlined the importance of Pakistan as trade and energy corridor. Reportedly several chief executives of the industrial and investment institutions who called on him expressed willingness to enhance cooperation in a number of sectors. Vital changes having taken place in China since 1977 most of the investments have to come from the private sector. What is needed is to focus on providing conducive environment to potential investors. The killings and abductions of Chinese in Balochistan and tribal areas have caused concerns in the neighbouring country which is strongly suspicious of militant groups operating in Pakistan. Besides attempts to woo foreign businessmen, the PPP led administration needs to do a lot of homework that includes improvement of law and order, increasing the capacity to generate electricity and gas, and removing the bureaucratic obstacles faced by the investors. The visit has taken place when America's position as an economic superpower has been badly damaged due to the ongoing financial crisis and fears of an impending recession. Islamabad meanwhile finds itself under increasing pressure from the US to carry out its orders. Closer economic cooperation with Beijing through enhanced Chinese investments and greater access for Pakistani goods to the extensive Chinese market can play an important role in reducing Pakistan's dependence on US.