Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (r) and Chinese President Xi Jinping - Photo: PMO

Szijjarto: Hungary-China summit yields ‘results worthy of historic visit’

Chinese President Xi Jinping's visiting Hungary is of historic importance and the summit has yielded results matching the occasion, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said on Thursday, adding that representatives of the two countries had signed 18 important agreements.

Peter Szijjarto called Xi’s visit “historic’ as it was the first time for a Chinese president to visit Hungary in the past twenty years. He also noted that Hungary and China were celebrating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Szijjarto said talks between the Chinese President and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had been “extremely successful”. He said the two sides expanded an earlier a list of joint projects under the Belt and Road initiative aimed at developing East-West connections, and would start preparations of a Hungarian-Chinese project to build a railway ring around Budapest. The ring, he said, was needed to make transport between large Chinese investments in the eastern parts of Hungary and western markets more efficient and sustainable.

“Similarly, we will start preparations for an express rail link aimed at providing fast and civilised access from central Budapest to the airport,” he said. He also noted that seven large cities in China were now accessible from Budapest by way of a daily 19 direct flights.

Preparations for the development of a nationwide network of charging points for electric cars will also get under way, the minister said.

Szijjarto said Hungary and Serbia was embarking on building Europe’s most modern, biggest, safest and fastest border crossing.

“The road crossing at Roszke is extremely busy. We’re all too familiar with the images of long lines of lorries and cars. We don’t want this to be the case in the future…” he said.

The minister announced that Serbian and Chinese partners would examine how to build a crude pipeline in the shortest possible time between Hungary and Serbia, with the goal of beefing up the security of energy supplies for the two countries and the whole region.

Meanwhile, he said farm exports were important to bilateral trade, noting that Hungary has the most Chinese export licences in central Europe. Thanks to today’s agreement, more produce has been added to the list, he said, citing the example of cherries.

Also, cooperation will be extended to nuclear energy, he said. “We have now agreed with the Chinese government on drafting a cooperation agreement covering the length and breadth of the nuclear industry to ensure both countries’ access to the cheapest, safest, most efficient way of producing electricity,” Szijjarto said.

Demand for electricity will increase sharply the world over, he said, adding that nuclear energy best met such demand.

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