Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said Pakistan and China enjoy ‘special relationship spanning over 70 years of friendship’ and declared that nothing can change the time-tested ties. In an exclusive interview with Chinese state TV CGTN, the prime minister stressed that it is “very unfair” of the United States and Western powers to “put pressure” on countries like Pakistan to choose sides and downgrade their relationship with China. “Despite pressure, Pakistan will not change or downgrade its relationship with China because the relationship is ‘deep’,” he said. “Whatever will happen, our relationship between the two countries – no matter what pressure is put on us – is not going to change,” he stressed. The prime minister said in the region, a strange and great power rivalry has taken place, which everybody knows about. It can create problems, he feared. “The United States has formed a regional alliance called ‘Quad’, including India and couple of other countries. So, from that point of view, Pakistan thinks that it is very unfair of the US and other Western powers …… for countries like Pakistan to take sides. Why should we take sides! We should have good relationship with everyone,” he maintained. The prime minister categorically said if pressure was put on Pakistan to change its relations or downgrade its ties with China, it would not happen. “Relationship between Pakistan and China is are very deep, it’s not just the governments, but it’s people-to-people relationship,” he added. The prime minister further said that when Pakistan had been in trouble politically or internationally, or had conflicts, China always stood with it. “The people of China have special place in the hearts of people of Pakistani,” he said, adding, “You remember friends who stand with you in all times. In good times, everyone stands with you, but in difficult, tough and bad times, you remember those who stood by you.” The people of Pakistan have that kind of fondness for the people of China, he added. The prime minister, to another question, replied that the relationship between the two countries grew stronger, even now politically and on the international fora Pakistan and China stood together. About China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said the CPEC is ‘the biggest thing happening in Pakistan’. Prime Minister Imran Khan recalled how China “always stood with us” whenever the country was in trouble politically or internationally or in a conflict with its neighbour, in an apparent reference to India. He was then asked how the ties between Pakistan and China could be deepened further to which he replied: “Number one is trade.” The political relationship between Pakistan and China had gotten stronger as well because “whatever happens in any international forum, Pakistan and China stand together”, the premier said. Last month, Prime Minister Imran and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang wrote letters to each other to mark 70 years of Pakistan-China friendship and vowed to further strengthen ties between the two states. “On behalf of the government and people of Pakistan, as well as on my own behalf, I wished to extend my heartiest felicitations to you on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. 21st May 1951, the day when our relations were formally established, has been a watershed moment in our history. Our two people and successive leaderships and governments have made indefatigable efforts to foster, cement, and strengthen our ties. Our time-tested relationship is built around lasting values of mutual respect, mutual trust, and mutual understanding,” the prime minister had said in his letter to the Chinese premier. According to the PM Office, the Chinese prime minister in his letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan had said China and Pakistan were friendly neighbours linked by mountains and waters.