China-Hungary Cooperation 'Story of Continuous Friendship', Orbán Says


Vivien Cher Benko/Prime Minister's Press Office/MTI

Cooperation between China and Hungary is "a story of continuous, uninterrupted friendship spanning decades", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said making a joint statement to the press with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Budapest on Thursday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Hungary has always fostered friendly ties with China, and those ties have always had solid political foundations, Mr Orban said. Hungary has always adhered to the "One China principle" and taken a position based on mutual respect, regarding China as a friendly country, he added.

Orbán said HUF 6.4 tln of Chinese investments were underway in Hungary and acknowledged China's participation in the development and modernization of the economy. He added that China's invitation to participate in the modernization of its economy was an "honor and a great opportunity" for Hungary.

He said Hungary was proud to be in the competition to attract Chinese investments, adding that the country would continue to ensure fair conditions for Chinese companies that launched local projects.

"We're creating an opportunity for cutting-edge technology from the West and cutting-edge technology from the East to meet in Hungary and build a cooperation," he said.

Orbán noted that bilateral trade between Hungary and China had risen to an annual USD 12 bln from EUR 3 bln 20 years earlier, the last time a Chinese president visited Budapest.

He assured Hungary's support for a Chinese peace initiative that aimed to end the conflict in Ukraine. As the "only exception" in a Europe that "is on the side of war", Hungary backs all international efforts that point to peace, he added.

There is "no solution on the battlefield," he said, adding that Hungary continued to advocate a ceasefire and peace talks.

He said cooperation between Hungary and China could be expanded to cover the "full spectrum" of the nuclear industry, noting that Hungary had over 50 years of experience in the field and was now undertaking the biggest nuclear power development in Europe.

He thanked President Xi for an agreement paving the way for the export of more Hungarian food and farm products to China.

Xi Emphasizes Mutual Trust, Cooperation

President Xi said China and Hungary had always been friends, enjoying mutual trust and striving to establish mutually beneficial cooperation, but bilateral ties were now better than ever before. Bilateral ties must be developed further, he said, noting the formulation of a declaration of a comprehensive strategic partnership.

He said mutual political trust provided a "firm foundation" for strengthening Chinese-Hungarian ties.

He voiced appreciation for Hungary's committed stand for the One China principle and pledged to continuously support Hungary's economic development. The two countries will deepen their economic, trade, and financial cooperation in the future, he added.

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