Chinese President Xi Jinping - Photo: MTI

Xi Jinping: China, Hungary ‘have always been friends’

China and Hungary "have always been friends", but now the two countries' ties are the best they have ever been, President Xi Jinping said in Budapest on Thursday in a joint press statement with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

During his meeting with Orbán, he said they agreed on the enduring mutual trust and friendship that characterised relations between the two countries as well as their desire to establish mutually beneficial cooperation.

Bilateral ties “must be further developed”, Xi said, noting that they had formulated a statement on a “comprehensive strategic partnership”.

“Mutual political trust has created the bedrock for strengthening Chinese-Hungarian relations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Xi said China highly valued Hungary’s “firm commitment to the One China policy”, and he pledged to provide China’s steady support for Hungary’s economic development.

He added that both countries planned to deepen their economic, commercial and financial cooperation in the future.

Xi noted that this year Hungary and China are celebrating the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, saying both had followed the path of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, and ties were moving forward in the right direction. Cooperation would be set on a “golden path” in order to reach “greater goals”, he said, adding that development of the two countries could now gain new momentum.

He also noted “high-level, close cooperation” and “strengthened dialogue” between the two governments, legislatures and political parties, adding that they shared experiences and supported one another’s core interests.

Xi said the Belt and Road initiative and Hungary’s Eastern opening strategy were compatible, enabling the deepening of economic trade and financial-economic cooperation.

He referred to the Budapest-Belgrade rail line and broadening cooperation in emerging sectors.

Both countries, he said, were committed to supporting the teaching of the other country’s language, utilising their cultural centres and strengthening cooperation in sports and the media.

He said there would be more direct flights and better conditions for person-to-person relations between Hungarians and Chinese.

The Chinese president said both Hungary and China saw cooperation between China and the central and eastern European countries as based on extensive consultation, and China saw Europe as an important pole and supported Hungary in playing a bigger role in the EU.

Xi said China’s modernisation extended huge opportunities to the world and it wanted to share prosperity with Hungary.

The Chinese and Hungarian governments and delegation members signed economic, financial, agricultural, media and news agency as well as cultural cooperation agreements and declarations of intent.

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