Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán: Hungary-China ties ‘at all-time high’

Hungary-China relations under the presidency of Xi Jinping are at an all-time high, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Beijing on Tuesday, adding that "this is extremely beneficial and useful for Hungary". During talks with the Chinese president, Orbán thanked his host for China's "unbroken support" in developing bilateral ties.

Orbán, who is in Beijing attending Wednesday’s Belt and Road summit, said his government supported the infrastructure development programme from the very beginning.

“We are convinced this initiative can change the world and the world economy, benefitting more people than ever,” Orbán said.

“China can count on Hungary remaining a part of the initiative, irrespective of political debates in Europe, and pursuing cooperation with Beijing,” Orbán said.

China is Hungary’s largest foreign investor and ninth trading partner.

Representatives of 130 countries and a number of international organisations are participating in this year’s Belt and Road summit.

Meeting Orbán, Xi said he was “very glad” to be able to meet “his old friend” again in Beijing, noting a gap in meetings in person due to the pandemic meant that talks on China-Hungary relations and cooperation had taken place over the phone.

He said Orbán had always regarded ties with China as important and had “actively supported” Belt and Road, making “positive contributions” to its “high-quality development”. He expressed appreciation for Orbán’s participation in the summit for the third time, joining celebrations of the initiative’s 10th anniversary.

Hungary, he said, was among the first countries to recognise and establish diplomatic relations with China, adding that the two countries had a long-storied friendship.

China-Hungary relations “have continuously developed at a high level in recent years, regardless of changes in the international environment,” Xi said.

Noting that China and Hungary will celebrate 75 years since diplomatic ties were established, Xi said they should “seize this opportunity” and take advantage of forward momentum, raising “comprehensive strategic cooperation to a new level”.

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