Xi Jinping concludes historic European visit
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday wrapped up his first trip to Europe in nearly five years by affirming to European leaders that China remains a committed partner and is ready to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides, Xinhua reports.
Xi Jinping concludes historic European visit

Xi Jinping concludes historic European visit

Photo: Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Benko Vivien Cher
Eurasia 11/05/2024 21:52

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday wrapped up his first trip to Europe in nearly five years by affirming to European leaders that China remains a committed partner and is ready to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides, Xinhua reports.

Chinese President Xi Jinping returned to Beijing on Saturday morning after wrapping up state visits to France, Serbia and Hungary.

In a joint press statement made on Thursday with Chinese head of state Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán reassured the Chinese peace initiative – seeking to bring the conflict in Ukraine to a conclusion – of his support. The Hungarian prime minister also said Chinese-Hungarian cooperation is a story of long decades of ongoing, uninterrupted friendship. 

Today, Europe is on the side of war; the only exception is Hungary which urges an immediate ceasefire and peace talks, and supports all international efforts that point in the direction of peace, the prime minister stated. He stressed that we therefore also support the Chinese peace initiative presented by President Xi Jinping.

There is no solution to this conflict, to this war on the battlefield; on the battlefield, there are only victims and devastation, Orbán added, confirming that “we need a ceasefire and peace talks.” 

The prime minister highlighted that Hungary has always maintained amicable relations with China, and those relations have always been based on firm political foundations. Hungary has always stood for the principle of One China, relations between the two countries are based on mutual respect, and Hungary looks upon China as a friendly country, he stressed. 

“The wheel of history could never take a turn” that would have turned the two countries against one another, the prime minister added. 

Orbán – who said it was an honour to welcome the president of the People’s Republic of China to Hungary on the 75thanniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations – highlighted that it had been twenty years since the president of China had last visited Hungary. “That was an entirely different world back then,” he said. 

Since then, we have survived a pandemic claiming the lives of millions of people, he recalled, thanking China for the help that it provided for Hungary in times of trouble, thereby saving the lives of many Hungarian people. Additionally, for two years now we have lived in the shadow of a war, and the risk of an international, even global war has never before been as great as it is today, he added. 

Orbán pointed out that twenty years ago we lived in a single-centre world order, while today we are living in a multipolar world, and one of the supporting pillars of this new world order is the People’s Republic of China which now plays a determining role in world economic and world political processes. 

At present, Chinese investments worth HUF 6,400 billion are currently under way in Hungary, he said, highlighting that in twenty years the value of trade between the two states has risen from USD 3 billion to USD 12 billion, and instead of just one, there are direct flights from Budapest to as many as seven major Chinese cities. Back then, “the two countries spoke about amicable cooperation not amounting to any degree of commitment beyond mere gestures,” while today our joint declaration is about strategic partnership, he said. 

Orbán stressed that it was an honour and a great opportunity for Hungary that China had invited us to take part in the modernisation of its economy, and that China “is ready to take part in the development and modernisation of the Hungarian economy.” 

He recalled that while twenty years ago one had trouble finding any Chinese investment in Hungary, last year, three quarters of investments coming from abroad originated from that state, providing jobs and a safe and predictable living for tens of thousands of people. 

The prime minister mentioned that we are proud of the fact that we stand our ground in the race for these investments, and then stated that Hungary will continue to provide fair and decent circumstances for Chinese businesses investing here.

We will create the possibility for the most modern western and most modern eastern technologies to meet and to build cooperation in Hungary, Orbán said, stressing that the Hungarians have serious ambitions as, given that the previous “century was a shameful one that we lost,” we will want to win the 21st century. 

He highlighted that for this victory we need partners, investors and the world’s most modern technologies. Hungary wants to introduce the best technologies, and there are areas in which China is the world’s best, in some instances by far. 

The prime minister thanked the Chinese head of state for supporting the exportation of these technologies to Hungary, making special mention of the areas of electromobility, the railway industry and the IT sector.

Orbán also thanked the Chinese president for the fact that an investment cooperation agreement has been concluded by the two states. 

He said it is a great opportunity that they will be able to extend cooperation between Hungary and China to the entire spectrum of the nuclear industry in the future. He stressed that this is not only a mere economic fact, but also an expression of trust. 

In the area of the nuclear industry, Hungary has major international experience and prestige, he underlined. We have been present in this sector for more than fifty years, and also at present, Europe’s largest nuclear development is under way in Hungary, the prime minister explained, adding that the plan is for the percentage of nuclear energy to reach 60 to 70 per cent in Hungary by the beginning of the next decade. 

Orbán thanked the Chinese head of state for the fact that they were able to agree on the exportation by Hungary of further agricultural and food industry products to China. He also expressed his gratitude for the fact that Hungary has been invited to Xiamen as a guest of honour of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade, an event that “Hungary will attend, and one at which we will show what we are capable of to the best of our abilities.” 

Orbán finally thanked the president for his visit one more time. “We are especially grateful for the steps that the People’s Republic of China is taking with a view to restoring peace,” the Hungarian prime minister said. 


Photo: Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Benko Vivien Cher
China and Hungary “have always been friends”, but now the two countries’ ties are the best they have ever been, President Xi Jinping said at the press conference. During his meeting with Orbán, he said they agreed on the enduring mutual trust and friendship that characterised relations between the two countries as well as their desire to establish mutually beneficial cooperation. Bilateral ties “must be further developed”, Xi said, noting that they had formulated a statement on a “comprehensive strategic partnership”. “Mutual political trust has created the bedrock for strengthening Chinese-Hungarian relations,” he said, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

Meanwhile, Xi said China highly valued Hungary’s “firm commitment to the One China policy”, and he pledged to provide China’s steady support for Hungary’s economic development. He added that both countries planned to deepen their economic, commercial and financial cooperation in the future.

Xi noted that this year Hungary and China are celebrating the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, saying both had followed the path of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, and ties were moving forward in the right direction. Cooperation would be set on a “golden path” in order to reach “greater goals”, he said, adding that development of the two countries could now gain new momentum. He also noted “high-level, close cooperation” and “strengthened dialogue” between the two governments, legislatures and political parties, adding that they shared experiences and supported one another’s core interests.

Xi said the Belt and Road initiative and Hungary’s Eastern opening strategy were compatible, enabling the deepening of economic trade and financial-economic cooperation. He referred to the Budapest-Belgrade rail line and broadening cooperation in emerging sectors. Both countries, he said, were committed to supporting the teaching of the other country’s language, utilising their cultural centres and strengthening cooperation in sports and the media. He said there would be more direct flights and better conditions for person-to-person relations between Hungarians and Chinese.

The Chinese president said both Hungary and China saw cooperation between China and the central and eastern European countries as based on extensive consultation, and China saw Europe as an important pole and supported Hungary in playing a bigger role in the EU. Xi said China’s modernisation extended huge opportunities to the world and it wanted to share prosperity with Hungary.

The Chinese and Hungarian governments and delegation members signed economic, financial, agricultural, media and news agency as well as cultural cooperation agreements and declarations of intent.
Xi Jinping's visiting Hungary is of historic importance and the summit has yielded results matching the occasion, the foreign minister has said, adding that representatives of the two countries had signed 18 key agreements.

Péter Szijjártó called Xi’s visit “historic’ as it was the first time for a Chinese president to visit Hungary in the past twenty years. He also noted that Hungary and China were celebrating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. Szijjártó said talks between the Chinese President and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had been “extremely successful”. He said the two sides expanded an earlier a list of joint projects under the Belt and Road Initiative aimed at developing East-West connections, and would start preparations of a Hungarian-Chinese project to build a railway ring around Budapest. The ring, he said, was needed to make transport between large Chinese investments in the eastern parts of Hungary and western markets more efficient and sustainable.

“Similarly, we will start preparations for an express rail link aimed at providing fast and civilised access from central Budapest to the airport,” he said. Preparations for the development of a nationwide network of charging points for electric cars will also get under way, the minister said.

We use cookies on our website. If you consent to their use, we use them to measure and analyze the use of the website.
Information and Settings