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Szijjártó: EU Countries Should be Open about Interest in Good China Relations

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.05.29.

No European country should pretend that they do not have an interest in nurturing good relations with China, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after discussing EU-China relations with his EU counterparts on Friday.

It is time for open and honest communication, Szijjarto said on Facebook. “It’s clear that when we’re competing for Chinese investments and export opportunities, we’re competing with other European countries, just as when we’re competing to procure ventilators and other health accessories,” the minister wrote.

Hungary is in favour of an EU-China investment protection agreement provided that it would serve its national interests, but rejects the use of double standards, Szijjártó said.

European regulations and remarks must not serve the purpose of western European countries putting the smaller member states at an economic disadvantage in their cooperation with China, he said. Central European countries account for just over 10 percent of the annual 700 billion trade turnover between the EU and China, he added.

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“We reject double standards and it’s high time that the large European countries left behind their hypocrisy regarding their ties with China,” Szijjártó said, arguing that western European countries, too, conducted tens of billions of dollars’ worth of trade and investments with China.