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No pressure can downgrade Pak-China ‘special’ relationship: PM Imran

Imran Khan talks about the relationship between Pakistan and China

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan today (Tuesday) asserted that Pakistan and China enjoyed ‘very special relationship’ spanning over 70 years of friendship and no pressure can change or downgrade these time-tested ties.

The premier made the comments in an interview with English-language state broadcaster China Global Television Network (CGTN). “Our relationship between the two countries — no matter what pressure is put on us — is not going to change,” he stressed.

He pointed out that in the region, a strange and great power rivalry took place which everybody knew. “It could create problems. The US formed a regional alliance called ‘Quad’ including India and couple of other countries,” he added.

“So, from that point of view, Pakistan thinks that it is very unfair of the US and other western powers to “put pressure” on countries like Pakistan to choose sides and downgrade their relationship with China,” he added..   

“Why should we take sides! We should have good relationship with everyone,” he maintained. The prime minister categorically said that if pressure was put on Pakistan to change its relations with China, it would not happen.

That relationship has only gotten stronger with time, the premier said, adding that Pakistan and China always stand together at international forums.

The Prime Minister recalled how China “always stood with us” whenever the country was in trouble politically or internationally or in a conflict with its neighbour.

“In good times, everyone stands with you but in your difficult, tough times, bad times, you remember those people who stood by you. That’s why you will find that in Pakistan, people always have a special fondness for people in China,” he added.

The premier said the relationship between Pakistan and China was not only limited to official relations but it was a people to people relationship as well. He also termed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the “biggest thing happening in Pakistan”.

“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.