More precious than gold: The shared aspirations of Hungary and China

Neither mountains nor seas can separate those who are destined to connect, said ancient Chinese wisdom, which resonates with the Hungarian adage, "a good friend is more precious than gold." Embraced by these maxims, the eloquent words of China's President Xi Jinping recently adorned the pages of Hungarian media, celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As Xi undertakes a pivotal state visit, the two nations, poised at the threshold of a new epoch, are ready to sculpt a shared future illuminated by deeper ties and collaborative ventures.
9. May 2024 17:21

Beyond traditional cordials and infrastructural endorsements under the Belt and Road Initiative, with Hungary anticipating the ratification of at least 16 bilateral agreements spanning railways, roadways, and energy sectors, the essence of these discussions lies in aligning visions, cultivating future stewards of Sino-Hungarian relations, and fostering cooperation in innovation, technology, and sustainable development. By leveraging combined expertise and resources in clean energy, artificial intelligence, digital economy, and green development, China and Hungary aim to catalyze economic growth, address pressing global challenges, and reshape the geopolitical landscape of Europe and Asia while fostering new quality productive forces and serving their respective high-quality development goals.

As comprehensive strategic partners, China and Hungary bear a responsibility to contribute to global stability, peace, and diplomacy. Hungary plays a pivotal role in fostering a consistent and dynamic China-Europe and China-NATO relationship, which has recently shown promising signs of stability as shared interests have begun to outweigh differences. This is particularly significant considering that just 25 years ago, the U.S. bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in May 1999, killing three Chinese journalists. Some argue that traces of the same “barbarian act” of NATO overreach and the U.S. selective use of international law or warmongering persist today. In light of this, it is crucial that China and Hungary remain committed to enhancing communication on international affairs, championing humanity’s common values, practicing true multilateralism, and working towards a more balanced and inclusive world order.

Education and cultural exchanges represent a key area for profound collaboration, symbolized by the Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual School, founded in 2004, and reinforced by Xi’s personal response to a letter from the school’s pupils last year, championing them as future envoys of cross-national amity. Looking ahead, China and Hungary plan to expand exchanges and cooperation in education, culture, tourism, sport, youth, media, and at the subnational level, including supporting language teaching, making full use of cultural centers like the Hungarian Cultural Center in Beijing and the soon-to-be-inaugurated China Cultural Center in Budapest, encouraging communication between institutions, and implementing practical measures to facilitate people-to-people exchanges, such as upgrading mutual visa facilitation, expanding direct flights, and easing two-way travel. These efforts reflect a deep understanding of the role of public diplomacy in building lasting relationships and stronger foundations of friendship between nations.

As China and Hungary commemorate 75 years of enduring friendship and embark upon a promising future, their mutual determination and investment in fostering lasting bonds shine as a beacon of hope in a world where authentic understanding and collaboration are invaluable. By forging greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Hungary’s Eastern Opening strategy, accelerating significant cooperation projects, and cementing public support through expanded cultural and people-to-people exchanges, the two nations are poised to craft a legacy that will resonate through the ages—a testament to the enduring power of camaraderie and the unyielding quest for a “Golden Voyage”.

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