Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Saturday, 18 October 2008 13:52 UK

China to boost Pakistani energy

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (L) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R), 16/10/08
China says its is cooperating well with Pakistan on civil nuclear energy

China will help Pakistan build two more nuclear power stations to tackle its energy shortages, the Pakistani foreign minister has said.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the deal was one of several signed by President Asif Ali Zardari during a visit to Beijing this week.

China has already helped Pakistan build one nuclear power plant, with another currently under construction.

The two new plants will provide an additional 680 megawatts of power.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Beijing and Islamabad had been co-operating well in the civilian application of nuclear energy.

"We are ready to continue our co-operation with Pakistan in this field on the basis of equality and mutual benefit," said Mr Gang.

"China-Pakistan co-operation in the civilian application of nuclear energy is, firstly, entirely for peaceful purposes, secondly, in keeping with each other's international obligations and, thirdly, subject to IAEA's safeguards and supervision."

Correspondents say the growth of the nuclear industry has raised safety concerns because of militant activity and political instability in Pakistan.

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