Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Chinese president’s visit of historic importance

The visit of the Chinese president to Hungary later this week is of historic importance and will greatly contribute to strengthening Hungary, developing bilateral economic and trade relations and, hopefully, to the success of peace efforts, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Budapest on Monday.

Answering a question at a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart, Szijjarto said that heading a large delegation, Xi Jinping will pay a visit to only two European Union member states: Hungary and France. Members of Xi’s delegation include Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Finance Minister Lan Foan, Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao, as well as Zheng Shanjie, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and Yu Jianhua, Director of the General Administration of Customs.

One of the main topics of the Chinese president’s talks will be further developing bilateral economic cooperation, Szijjarto said, noting that China had brought the most FDI to Hungary in 2020 and 2023. It was thanks in part to those investments, he said, that Hungary now ranked among the global frontrunners of the “automotive industry’s technological revolution”.

He said talks were ongoing with leading Chinese companies on further investments, while calling it “fake news” that the Chinese president’s agenda included visiting the city of Pecs.

Szijjarto said that during the Chinese president’s visit, 16 agreements will be signed while another two were under consultations.

He highlighted a planned agreement on potential infrastructure upgrades linked to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The minister underlined the importance of a bilateral partnership covering the entire spectrum of nuclear energy. He said it was hoped that further progress would also be achieved in bilateral trade relations by expanding the export possibilities of high-quality Hungarian agricultural products to China.

Boosting ties in tourism will also be on the agenda, which Szijjarto said could be greatly helped by the fact that Hungary is an absolute record holder in the region with the 19 direct flights to be operated weekly to China from July.

“We would also like the visa waiver granted to Hungarian citizens to be in place over a longer period of time,” he said.

The war in Ukraine and the peace plan prepared by China will also feature high on the agenda of talks, Szijjarto said, adding that Hungary welcomed the peace plan “first of all because it exists and also because it is about peace”.

“China is unquestionably one of the strongest states in the pro-peace camp that keeps emphasising the importance of peace,” Szijjarto said. “There is full consensus between us on this matter, which is why the possibility of creating peace will be an important topic on the agenda of talks.”


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