Chancellor Gordon Brown has promised to do everything possible to secure an MG Rover tie-up that could save 6,000 jobs.

Mr Brown met Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and finance minister Jin Renqing to push the case for the partnership between MG Rover and Shanghai Automotive Industry Group.

The deal with the state-owned car company is seen as the last chance to safeguard the future of Rover's West Midlands plant and its 6,000 workers.

Shanghai Automotive's proposed £1bn investment in Rover is awaiting approval by its owner, the Shanghai city government, and by the National Development and Reform Commission, which oversees foreign investment by Chinese companies.

Speaking from China, Mr Brown said: "Both the Chinese and the British governments will do what they can. In Britain's case, we are very supportive of this partnership."

Mr Brown told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The talks are designed to safeguard and maintain large numbers of jobs in the British car industry.

"I think the partnership that is proposed is important to the future of Rover in the Midlands in particular. We will do what we can to make this partnership a successful one.

"It is a matter mainly for private commercial negotiations. But we are trying our best to be as much help as possible.''

Mr Brown is on a three-day visit to China to boost trade links. He said China could soon sit alongside the US as the world's major economic powers. The Chancellor said other economies should see the growth of China as an opportunity rather than a threat.