China said Thursday it would cancel some US$8 billion in debts owed by Iraq, AFP reported. The announcement came as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was visiting Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. "We would like to reduce the debt by a large margin," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang. Although he didn't specify a figure, referring only to a US$6.6 million debt cancellation announced in May, it is believed that China lent around US$8 billion to Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power. Qin added that China had and would continue to participate in Iraq's reconstruction.