Wang Yi (2nd on the left) and Peter Szijjarto (right) - Photo: MTI

Szijjarto: Hungary, China cooperation ‘real success story’

Hungary and China's cooperation "is a real success story" that Hungary's government is committed to pursuing, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Budapest on Thursday, at an event marking China's national holiday.

Szijjarto said a “strategic, broad and friendly system of ties” had been established between the two countries. He noted that Hungary had been the first country in Europe to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative, in 2015, further strengthening the outcome of the government’s Eastern Opening policy.

“Hungary has profited much from Chinese-Hungarian cooperation,” he said. China is Hungary’s biggest trading partner outside of Europe, and the country is the biggest target for Chinese investment in the region, he added.

Chinese companies have been the biggest foreign investors in Hungary for two of the past four years, and a Chinese company is undertaking the biggest greenfield investment in the country’s history, he said, referring to a more than 7 billion euros manufacturing facility battery maker CATL is building in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary.

Chinese investments that bring cutting edge technology to Hungary contribute “in a big way” to keeping the Hungarian economy on the growth path, he added.

He said voices pressing for the decoupling of the European and Chinese economies were “dangerous and harmful”, adding that Hungary believed a closer economic cooperation between Europe and China could help restore the continent’s competitiveness.

Szijjarto praised China’s efforts to advocate for peace and singled out the work of his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

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