09/13/2011 12:17 EDT | Updated 11/12/2011 05:12 EST

Reports: Italy asks China to buy bonds, invest as Rome tries to resolve financial crunch

BEIJING, China - News reports say Italian officials have held talks with China's sovereign wealth fund in an effort to persuade Beijing to buy Italy's government bonds and invest in its companies.

The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times said that the chairman of the China Investment Corp. held talks with Italy's finance minister last week.

The reports gave no indication the two sides reached any agreements. Phone calls to CIC's Beijing headquarters were not answered.

The reports come as Italian lawmakers consider an austerity package and the government tries to stabilize Italy's national debt.