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Hungarian PM and Chinese Vice-Premier Hold Talks in Budapest

By Tom Szigeti // 2017.06.22.

Hungarian wire service MTI reports that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Chinese vice-premier Liu Yandong held talks in Parliament on Wednesday, agreeing to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (second from the right) and other Hungarian officials meet with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong (2nd from the left) in the Hungarian National Assembly on June 21st (Photo: MTI/PM Press Office- Gergely Botár)

Orbáns press chief Bertalan Havasi said that Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade, Péter Szijjártó, and minister of human resources, Zoltán Balog, also attended the meeting.

Liu Yandong said that China has an interest in maintaining and strengthening “the excellent system of bilateral ties based on mutual respect”.

The meeting between the Hungarian Prime Minister and China’s highest-ranking female politician comes after Orbán’s trip last month to Beijing, where he and other Hungarian leaders participated in China’s One Belt, One Road trade infrastructure initiative. This initiative, also known as the Silk Road Forum, is a Chinese trade plan that President Xi Jinping has pledged $124 billion USD to.

While in Beijing, Orbán met with Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, as well as with controversial world leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In Budapest on Wednesday, Orbán and Vice-Premier Liu both stated that, of the investments China is making in Central Europe, the bulk are ending up in Hungary. The PM added that trade between the two nations is expanding faster than China’s trade with any other country in the region.

Havasi noted that the so-called “16-plus-1 partnership”, a plan to increase cooperation between China and EU states, was also on the meeting’s agenda.

The next China-CEE co-operation summit will be held in Budapest, attended by China’s prime minister.

Via MTI and Hungary Matters

Images via MTI