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Hungary Presses for 'Strategic Cooperation' Between EU, China

Int’l Relations

Photo by Savvapanf Photo / Shutterstock.com

Hungary wants to keep the European Union from becoming an "anti-China bloc", Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said ahead of a discussion of EU-China ties at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Stockholm on Friday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

"We categorically disagree with those European countries that would like to define China as a kind of systemic rival. We think the European Union should strive for strategic cooperation with China," Szijjártó said.

He noted that bilateral trade between China and the EU reached EUR 860 billion last year, adding that Germany, France, and Italy accounted for 46% of that trade.

"It's not Central European countries that are the big trade partners with China, but the biggest Western European countries," he said.

Efforts by some Western European countries to sever ties between the Chinese and European economies are "futile", he said, pointing to the reliance of Western makers of electric vehicles on batteries produced by Asian companies.

"Let's allow this economically rational division of labor to work...profiting both the European economic area and China," he added.

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