BEIJING, Feb 12: President Asif Ali Zardari would visit China from Feb 20 to Feb 23, Beijing said on Thursday.

Mr Zardari would visit the eastern Chinese economic hub Shanghai as well as central Hubei province, foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters, in the hope it would “deepen the two countries’ all-weather friendship”.

“During the visit he will observe China’s development in water conservation, agriculture, finance and other areas. This will promote close cooperation between the two countries in the above areas,” she said. Ms Jiang gave no other details of Mr Zardari’s activities while in China.

China is one of Islamabad’s closest allies as well as its largest arms supplier. Mr Zardari visited China in October in his first foreign trip after taking office.

Pakistan has said the previous visit resulted in an agreement under which China would help Islamabad build two more nuclear power plants to help end crippling electricity shortages.

Pakistan already has one Chinese-built nuclear power station and another is under construction.—AFP

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