Hungarian Conservative

Chinese President Xi Jinping: Hungary Could Help Improve China–EU Relations

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on 17 October 2023.
Viktor Orbán/Facebook
Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to arrive in Hungary this evening, marking the end of his European tour. In anticipation of his visit, Xi penned an opinion piece in Magyar Nemzet, in which he discusses the significance and ways of strengthening relations between the two countries.

‘China and Hungary established diplomatic relations 75 years ago. Since then, the relationship between the two countries has developed in a balanced and healthy manner, achieving significant results. Adhering to the principles of mutual respect, equal treatment, mutual benefits, and a win-win situation for all, we regard each other as key partners,’ wrote Chinese President Xi Jinping in an opinion piece published by Magyar Nemzet.

Xi is scheduled to arrive in Hungary this evening, concluding his European tour. The Chinese President previously visited France and Serbia, where he engaged in talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.

The visit of the Chinese president to Hungary is symbolic for several reasons:

it marks the first visit by a Chinese head of state to Hungary in 20 years and coincides with the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, a milestone also highlighted by Xi Jinping in his article.

In the op-ed the Chinese president emphasized that both China and Hungary are at crucial stages of their development. China is focused on promoting high-quality development and increasing openness to international markets, with aims to advance its national strength and prosperity through China-style modernization. Similarly, Hungary is working towards achieving economic success and greater development. Xi expressed his hope that his current visit would further deepen the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation, elevating the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations to new heights.

Xi Jinping outlined five key points to further strengthen Hungarian–Chinese relations. First, he emphasized the need to fortify the political foundations of the relationship. He stated: ‘China is committed to strategically planning bilateral relations with Hungary over the long term, especially in light of the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic ties. We aim to consolidate the positive momentum of high-level exchanges, support regular inter-governmental, legislative, and party exchanges, and enhance policy communication. We will maintain firm mutual support for each other’s core interests, providing a solid political foundation for the advanced development of China–Hungary relations.’

Balázs Orbán Discusses Hungary’s Connectivity Strategy Ahead of Xi Jiping Visit

In his second point, the Chinese President highlighted the need for better coordination between the development strategies of the two countries, aiming for new heights in practical cooperation. He noted: ‘We view Hungary as a partner in our journey towards China-style modernization and development. We are eager to promote deep integration between China’s Belt and Road Intitiative and Hungary’s Eastern Opening strategy, and to accelerate key projects such as the Budapest-Belgrade railway.’ He further stated that China is prepared to enhance cooperation with Hungary in emerging sectors such as clean energy, artificial intelligence, the digital economy, and green development.

Thirdly, Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of expanding people-to-people exchanges to strengthen the foundations of public thinking in bilateral relations. ‘China is committed to continuously expanding cooperation and exchanges with Hungary across various fields, including education, culture, tourism, sports, youth, media, and local communities.’ The Chinese President specifically highlighted the expansion of direct air routes between the two countries and the facilitation of mutual visa agreements.

Fourthly, according to Xi Jinping, it is crucial for

Hungary and China to lead in regional cooperation and to foster positive China-EU relations.

He asserted: ‘China’s engagement with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe is timely, aligns with the prevailing trends and mutual interests of both sides, and serves as a valuable addition to China–EU relations.’ The Chinese President stressed that China and the EU are strategic partners, sharing a broad spectrum of common interests, characterized by more cooperation than competition, and more consensus than conflict. He highlighted the mutual responsibility of both sides to collaborate towards global stability and to provide a stronger impetus for worldwide development.

Lastly, China and Hungary should intensify their dialogue on international issues and collaborate to address global challenges. Xi Jinping noted in his opinion piece: ‘China and Hungary share similar views and closely aligned positions on international and regional issues. We must stand resolutely together for unity and cooperation, and actively champion the common values of humanity, such as peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom.’

At the conclusion of the article, Xi Jinping underscored China’s eagerness to forge a new chapter in its relationship with Hungary. He expressed his anticipation for writing a new history of friendship and cooperation with Hungary, aimed at jointly crafting a brighter future for both nations.

Read more on Hungarian–Chinese relations:

Two Suns in the Sky: Hungary’s Divergence with the West on China
Hungarian Railway Developments on the Way under China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to arrive in Hungary this evening, marking the end of his European tour. In anticipation of his visit, Xi penned an opinion piece in Magyar Nemzet, in which he discusses the significance and ways of strengthening relations between the two countries.