Skip to Content

Viktor Orban; Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Photo supplied
Beijing

Hungary and China strengthen trade ties ahead of BRI meeting

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Thursday, ahead of the Belt and Road Forum later this week, according to a report by state news agency MTI.

Published: April 26, 2019, 7:56 am

    Read more

    Orban arrived in the Chinese capital to attend the Belt and Road forum, where 37 heads of state and world leaders are expected on Friday and Saturday. Hungary will be seeking stronger relations with countries in the East, according to official government website kormany.hu.

    The Belt and Road Initiative is fully in harmony with Hungarian interests,  Orban said on Thursday in Beijing, adding that he would not bend to “any kind of external ideological pressure”.

    Hungary still  operates in the capacity of the “eastern frontier” of the western project of the EU and its participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) ensures Hungary’s economic importance for the continent. Budapest is home to Eastern Europe’s largest Chinese population.

    Ahead of the talks, Orban said it was a great “honour” to be invited to the second forum of the economic initiative, to be held on Friday and Saturday in Beijing.

    Belt and Road is a “serious safeguard of worldwide free trade and the freedom of world economy”, Orban said. “Hungarians need an open world economy,” he said. The Hungarian government will “always act according to national interests”, Orban added.

    Speaking in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, the Hungarian leader said that the balance between the East and the West has changed and Hungary does not see this new situation as a threat, but as a source of opportunities.

    Chinese companies have greatly contributed to modernising the Hungarian economy, Orban said. Chinese investments have now reached some 4.5 billion dollars in Hungary, he noted, and proposed that the inflow of capital investments be upheld in the future.

    In his greeting to the Hungarian delegation, Li Keqiang praised Sino-Hungarian cooperation and expressed hope that it should be extended further in sectors such as digitisation.

    Cooperation between the countries has already brought results and offers great opportunities for large companies as well as SMEs of both countries, he said. Free trade and economic development will strengthen world peace, too, Li said.

    After the talks, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and Innovation and Technology Minister Laszlo Palkovics signed bilateral agreements with Chinese officials.

    Among them were agreements to set up a Hungarian-Chinese cooperation centre, cooperation in sports, creating a “digital Silk Road”, setting up a working group to facilitate bilateral trade and the export of Hungarian poultry to China.

    The prime minister’s press chief told MTI that the two leaders marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Hungary and China, the successes in economic cooperation and European affairs.

    China is willing to align the BRI with development strategies of Hungary, follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and seek mutual benefits, Li said.

    China stands ready to work with Hungary to enhance relations between China and central and eastern European countries as well as China-EU relations, Li said.

    “What started as something with a very economic rationale to it,” Agnes Szunomar, head of the Research Group on Developmental Economics at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, told Asia Times. “It has become something increasingly political.”

    “Hungary has always had a special relationship with China,” says Dr Zoltan Vorus, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Pecs and a China foreign policy expert. “Partly, it comes from a belief that Hungarians originally came from China, Eastern and Central Asia, and we are therefore brother nations.”

    “The Chinese have always been accepted here,” says Vorus. “They have learned Hungarian and very much adapted to Hungarian society.”

    An example of this cooperation between China, Hungary as well as Serbia, the three agreed to build a railway between Budapest and Belgrade.

    Hungary’s share of the $3-billion project was to be 85 perent financed by a 20-year loan from China’s Eximbank, with the rest coming from the Hungarian government.

    On April 12, the Hungarian leader told the China-CEE summit in Dubrovnik that new contracts could soon be signed, with the line providing a key part of the BRI, opening up European markets.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    No more room for farmers with ‘WEF Food Hubs’

    The HagueFood Innovation Hubs (FUBs) are being set up all over the world for the "transformation of food systems". In November 2020, the World Economic Forum announced that the European Food Innovation Hub will be located in Wageningen, in the Netherlands.

    A political shift in Austria

    ViennaA political earthquake is threatening Austria. The ÖVP continues to drop in the polls and is now in third place. The FPÖ can establish itself in second place under its pro-Russian chairman Herbert Kickl. Another disastrous result for the Chancellor's Party, after the governing coalition of the ÖVP and the Greens lost the majority in the polls months ago.

    Germany ‘to meet its Waterloo in next elections’ with trans bill

    BerlinGermany is fast becoming a dystopia – a society in cataclysmic decline: Minister of Justice Buschmann (FDP) and Minister for Family Affairs Paus (Greens) have now presented a draft law according to which every person in Germany can determine their own gender and first name themselves and change it in a simple procedure at the registry office.

    Drug lab unearthed at NATO nuclear base

    BurkelA clandestine drug laboratory has been discovered on a military base in Belgium where NATO nuclear weapons are stored. The synthetic drug Ecstasy was being mass produced on a large scale at the site.

    Globally the G7 are a minority

    ElmauIt is repeatedly claimed that the G7 are the “most important industrialized countries” and thus generally the most important countries in the world. However, on closer inspection this contention is wrong.

    Europe’s next drug hotspot

    KievBefore the war, the Ukrainian police actively fought drug-related crime. Now the authorities have other priorities.

    EU accession status for Ukraine – Brussels to tackle the impossible

    Brussels/KievThe decision to grant Ukraine accession status raises numerous questions: Ukraine (and Moldova) were officially granted this status at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday evening. This decision had been extremely controversial and contested for weeks. But all previous critics – above all Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, the Netherlands and France – have surprisingly caved in and have cleared the way for the two countries to join the EU.

    ‘Fiat money needed to hide Great Reset costs’

    ViennaThe failure to put the financial system on a solid footing after the financial crisis in 2008, the pandemic and sanctions due to the Ukraine war, have ensured that the cards are finally being reshuffled.

    Major setback for Transatlanticism: Italian Five Star Movement splits over Ukraine policy

    RomeIn Italy, the dispute over the Draghi government's Ukraine policy has led to a political earthquake: Foreign Minister Di Maio has resigned from his party, the Five Star Movement, after considerable squabbling over Ukraine.

    Food from ground chicken bones?

    HelsinkiAmong all the alarming reports about an impending food crisis, a Finnish company believes that it has found a way to incorporate bones into minced chicken, which reduces the meat's production cost and environmental impact. But will anyone want to eat it?

    Go to archive