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China offers $10bn loan to its key allies

CHINA will offer a $10bn (&pound;6bn) credit loan to Russia and other key allies to help them through the financial crisis, Chinese President Hu Jintao said yesterday.<br /><br />Speaking at a summit in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, Jintao said China would provide monetary aid to Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, who are all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).<br /><br />Hu also met leaders of other BRIC economies &ndash; Brazil, Russia, India as well as China &ndash; in Yekaterinburg yesterday as the group held its first summit to discuss how to use its power to boost the global economy.<br /><br />BRIC countries currently amount to around 15 per cent to the world economy.<br /><br />China is now the world&rsquo;s third-biggest economy, and has so far weathered the global slowdown better than much of the rest of the world. <br /><br />China&rsquo;s move comes at a time when hard-pressed economies across the region are looking to Beijing for help, leading some to predict that the communist powerhouse will lead the way in challenging US economic dominance.<br /><br />But Hu did not raise the proposals for diluting the dominance of the US dollar that other leaders at the summit endorsed. Beijing has massive holdings of US dollars and bonds.<br /><br />Hu added that efforts to pump cash into the Chinese economy were begining to take effect. He said: &ldquo;Now these measures are showing initial results and producing positive signs.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>FAST FACTS </strong> SCO<br />&9679; Set up in 2001 between China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, to tackle extremism in the region.<br /><br />&9679; India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia joined the organisation later as observer members