Hungarian Conservative

Viktor Orbán Endorses Chinese Peace Initiative in Joint Statement with President Xi Jinping

Viktor Orbán and Xi Jinping during their joint press conference on 9 May 2024 in Budapest.
Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI
The Chinese President emphasized that during their discussions with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán they agreed that China and Hungary have always been good friends, trusting each other, assisting one another, and striving to establish mutually beneficial relationships.

‘China and Hungary have always been friends, but now, in their history, the relationship between the two countries is at its best,’ declared President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China on Thursday in Budapest, during a joint press statement with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the Carmelite Monastery.

The Chinese President emphasized that during the discussions with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, they agreed that China and Hungary have always been good friends, trusting each other, assisting one another, and striving to establish mutually beneficial relationships. He indicated that the relationship between the two countries must be further developed, hence they have formulated a statement on comprehensive strategic partnership.

Xi Jinping pointed out that both he and Prime Minister Orbán believe that ‘mutual political trust has laid a solid foundation for the strengthening of Sino-Hungarian relations.’ The Chinese President reminded that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. He stressed that over the past 75 years, both parties have always followed the path of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefits to advance their relationship in the right direction. Bilateral relations need to be further developed, while cooperation should be enriched, Xi Jinping noted. He emphasized that they are doing everything possible to lead bilateral relations and cooperation onto a ‘golden path,’ which serves the achievement of greater goals. He expressed that all of this allows for giving new impetus to the development of the two countries. Xi Jinping drew attention to the fact that both parties maintain a high level of close cooperation. He pointed out that they reinforce dialogue between governments, legislators, and political parties while sharing governmental experiences and supporting each other’s central interests.

China highly appreciates Hungary’s firm commitment to the One China principle

and will continuously support Hungary in pursuing economic development in line with the interests of the nation, he declared.

He highlighted that they agree that the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as Hungary’s Eastern Opening strategy, are compatible. Therefore, the two countries will deepen cooperation in development strategy, enhance trade relations and financial-economic cooperation, promote the development of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line, and expand cooperation in emerging sectors, he enumerated. The Chinese President added that they both believe in the solid foundation of friendship between the two countries and will continue to support the teaching of each other’s languages, utilize the opportunities provided by cultural centres, and strengthen cooperation in sports and media. He drew attention to the fact that they will further improve mutual entry and exit policies in the future, develop direct flights, and create more favourable conditions for people-to-people contacts. President Xi stated that they both believe that cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries aligns with the principle of extensive consultation. China regards Europe as an important pole and supports Hungary in playing a greater role in the EU, he conveyed.

The modernization of China holds tremendous opportunities for the world, and China wishes to enjoy common development and prosperity with Hungary, concluded Xi Jinping.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán assured his support for the Chinese peace initiative aimed at resolving the conflict in Ukraine. The Hungarian Prime Minister also emphasized that Sino-Hungarian cooperation is the history of decades-long continuous and uninterrupted friendship.

‘Today, Europe stands on the side of war, with the only exception being Hungary, which advocates for an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations, and supports all international efforts towards peace.

This is why we support the Chinese peace initiative presented by President Xi Jinping.’

‘There is no solution to this conflict, to this war, on the battlefield; the battlefield only brings death and destruction,’ added Viktor Orbán, reaffirming: ‘What is needed is a ceasefire and peace negotiations.’

The Prime Minister highlighted: ‘Hungary has always maintained friendly relations with China, and its political foundations have always been solid. Hungary has always adhered to the One China principle, based on mutual respect, and regarded China as a friendly nation.’ ‘There has never been a turning of the wheels of history where the two countries have confronted each other,’ added the Prime Minister.

Viktor Orbán stressed that it was an honour to welcome the President of the People’s Republic of China on an official visit to Hungary on the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, reminded that twenty years have passed since a Chinese president last visited Hungary. ‘It was a completely different world back then,’ he said. ‘Twenty years ago, we lived in a unipolar world; now we live in a multipolar one, and one of the pillars of this new world order is the People’s Republic of China, which is now a key player in global economic and political processes.’ The Hungarian PM also recalled that since the last Chinese presidential visit that world has experienced a global pandemic claiming millions of lives, and expressed gratitude for the significant assistance provided by China in times of trouble, which saved the lives of many Hungarian people.

Speaking of bilateral economic relations, Orbán underscored that there are 6,400 billion forints worth of Chinese investments underway in Hungary, noted, emphasizing: ‘The value of trade between the two states has increased from 3 billion to 12 billion dollars over twenty years, and seven Chinese cities can now be reached directly by air from Budapest, instead of just one. The Hungarian Prime Minister also thanked President Xi for the opportunity of Hungarian participation in the modernization of the Chinese economy, and China’s readiness to participate in the development and modernization of the Hungarian economy. Orbán recalled that twenty years ago, ‘one needed a magnifying glass if one tried to find Chinese investment in Hungary, but last year, three-quarters of the incoming investments came from that country and provided jobs for tens of thousands of people, ensuring secure and predictable livelihoods.’ The Prime Minister declared that ‘Hungary will continue to provide fair, honest conditions for Chinese companies investing here.’

Viktor Orbán also expressed gratitude for the agreement reached between the two states to allow Hungary to export additional agricultural and food products to China. He also thanked for the invitation for Hungary to participate as an honoured guest at the China International Investment and Trade Fair in Xiamen.

Finally, Viktor Orbán once again thanked Xi for the presidential visit, and for the steps taken by the People’s Republic of China to establish peace.

Shortly after the press conference of the two leaders, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó held a press briefing, announcing bilateral agreements ‘of historic proportions’ that we are covering in detail in our next article.

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The Chinese President emphasized that during their discussions with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán they agreed that China and Hungary have always been good friends, trusting each other, assisting one another, and striving to establish mutually beneficial relationships.