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Hungary's Orban to host Chinese leader in early May

By AFP

April 25, 2024 07:46 PM


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Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Hungary on May 8-10, the Central European country's government announced Thursday, as part of his first European trip since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Xi is due to arrive in France in early May, and reportedly make a stop in Serbia just before he goes to Hungary.

"Between 8 and 10 May, the Chinese President will be a guest of Budapest" Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas told a press briefing.

"It will be the first time in twenty years that Budapest will host such a summit. We believe it is in the interest of the Hungarian economy [...] to maintain good relations with as many countries as possible" he added, describing China as one of the leading powers of the world.

Despite its small size, the Central European country of 9.6 million people has attracted a flood of major Chinese projects in recent years, mostly related to battery and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.

The Hungarian government boasted about having around 15 billion euros worth of ongoing projects originating from the Asian country.

Orban has been championing an "Eastern opening" foreign policy since his return to power in 2010, seeking closer economic ties to China, Russia and other Asian countries.

Last October, the Hungarian premier was the sole EU leader to attend the summit for Xi's flagship Belt and Road initiative in Beijing.

On Thursday, Hungary's nationalist leader spoke about his vision for a "sovereignist world", where the "global economy is organised non-ideologically along the lines of mutual benefit."

"Everyone can trade with everyone else. And the job of individual states is to build networks of connections that protect them from unilateral dependencies" the nationalist leader told CPAC Hungary, a gathering of mostly European and American right-wing figures.

 

 


AFP


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