China and Hungary – a partnership in any wind and weather

Xi Jinping and Viktor Orbán shake hands in Budapest. © Source/ Copyright: Xinhua, Photo: Xie Huanchi, Place and date of taking: Budapest, 9.5.2024

Berlin, Germany (Welttexpress). Hungary and China have elevated their bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership that can withstand all storms from Brussels. The announcement was made following talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest on Thursday 9 May. Mutual respect and a co-operative approach without ideological reservations played a decisive role in bilateral relations. Over the years, Sino-Hungarian cooperation has developed steadily.

In 2015, Hungary was the first European country to join the Belt and Road Initiative (New Silk Road). In 2017, bilateral relations were transformed into a comprehensive strategic partnership. The Hungary-Serbia railway line, which is currently under construction, is the BRI’s flagship project in Central and Eastern Europe. Hungary is currently second only to the USA in terms of global production capacity for lithium-ion batteries, making it one of the most advanced high-tech markets in the world.

At the same time, more and more Chinese companies are investing in Hungary and setting up factories there, such as the electric vehicle manufacturer BYD, which is benefiting from the country’s fortunate economic conditions. The latter goes against the grain for Ms von der Leyen, who just a few days ago threatened to impose EU sanctions on the import of cheap electric cars from China following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Paris. However, China has long since ensured that Chinese e-cars are built in the EU country of Hungary and therefore cannot be subject to any punitive tariffs from Brussels.

Cultural exchange between Hungary and China is flourishing because Hungary has never hindered cultural exchange under the pretext of “national security”. Hungary is a European leader in Chinese language education. There are five Confucius Institutes in the country, Fudan University in Shanghai is setting up a campus in Budapest, and the Chinese language has been included in the national education system and has become a subject in the university entrance examination.

In global politics, China and Hungary often take similar positions. Although Hungary is a member of the EU and NATO, it remains committed to not supplying arms to Ukraine. On several occasions, Hungary has distanced itself from or opposed the EU’s positions towards China. In 2021, for example, Hungary blocked an EU statement criticizing China’s national security law for Hong Kong. On 1 July, Hungary will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó believes that Hungary can use this opportunity to influence EU policy towards China.

Previous articleUSA and EU increasingly fear Ukraine’s defeat


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

seventy two ÷ = eighteen