Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday that maintaining domestic financial stability would be China's biggest contribution to combating a global credit crisis, a topic that will likely be raised at next week's Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) in Beijing. In a phone call to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday afternoon, Mr Wen reportedly said that the global financial crisis had had a 'limited and controllable' impact on China, because the country's exposure to the international financial market was still minor. 'As long as we keep our heads clear, increase our risk awareness and proactively implement our response measures, we are confident of maintaining the stability of China's financial market,' Mr Wen said. He said international co-operation was needed to tackle the crisis and China would continue to play a responsible and positive role. Mr Wen said China would enact flexible and prudent macroeconomic policies to keep growth steady. 'The most important thing for China now is to keep our own house in order,' he said. 'This will be our biggest contribution to the world.' Also yesterday, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan assured US Senator Chuck Hagel, who was visiting Beijing, that China would 'strengthen communication and cooperation' with other countries to defend and stabilise the international financial market. He repeated Mr Wen's comments about China focusing on its own affairs and doing its part as a 'responsible country'. According to the Financial Times, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who began his first state visit to China yesterday, came with the hope of a soft loan of between US$500 million and US$1.5 billion. There are reports that Pakistan faces bankruptcy as early as February and the global crisis has pushed it deeper into debt. And since the country fell out with the United States over its perceived inability to weed out al-Qaeda fighters within its borders, China has become its closest ally and biggest economic partner. Meanwhile, Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi said yesterday that among other pressing topics such as climate change, energy and food supply uncertainties, and sustainable development, the bi-annual ASEM summit between Asian and European leaders on October 24-25 would seek to reach a consensus on how to deal with the crisis. 'I'm sure they will use the summit as a platform to engage in a thorough discussion and explore how everyone can strengthen co-operation, revive investor confidence and get through the crisis through co-operation,' he said. Mr Liu said next week's gathering would be the biggest Asem leaders' summit, with 38 heads of state, one deputy head of state and five foreign ministers having agreed to attend. Apart from China, the 44 representatives include 15 from Asia and 28 from Europe. Song Xinning, a senior research fellow of the United Nations University in Belgium, said: 'Even the EU and Asean cannot reach a consensus among their own members, how could Europe and Asia reach one? 'This meeting is more about providing a platform for dialogue, than interregional co-operation,' Mr Song said. 'In terms of Asia, it is already an improvement from the 1997 crisis in that the countries are at least expressing the desire to engage in discussion. But we are a long way from agreeing on any action.' He suggested that a regional discussion such as one between China, Japan and Korea, held on the sidelines of the summit, would probably be the summit's most pragmatic achievement. Mr Liu rejected claims that the meetings were just empty talk.