Orbán to Xi Jinping: We are always on the side of peace, never on the side of war

July 08. 2024. – 08:44 AM


Orbán to Xi Jinping: We are always on the side of peace, never on the side of war
Photo: MTI/Prime Minister's Press Office / Vivien Cher Benko


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Hungarians consider it important that China is promoting peace in the world, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Monday in Beijing, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to the Hungarian State News Agency, MTI, in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the Hungarian Prime Minister said that Hungarians are a peace-loving people.

Our people are striving for peace, balance and harmony, which is why "we are always on the side of peace and never on the side of war".

"For us, China's call for peace in the world instead of war is of great significance. (...) We also appreciate your peace initiative when it comes to the conflict in Hungary's neighboring country," Orbán told Xi Jinping, who was in Hungary just two months ago. At the time Orbán described the meeting as a historic one, where serious agreements were reached and where the foundations of the friendship between the two nations were strengthened for generations to come. On Monday, Orbán thanked the Chinese president for upgrading the level of relations between the two countries, saying that in the two months since then they have been working continuously to add substance to this form of relations. The Prime Minister also congratulated Xi Jinping on the strength and stability China represents for the whole world "in the midst of today's turbulent global politics".

In a Facebook post, Orbán said that “other than the warring parties, it depends on the decision of three world powers, the United States, the European Union and China, when the war between Russia and Ukraine will end. That is why we came to Beijing after my meetings with the warring parties.”

The meeting, which Orbán referred to as "Peace Mission 3.0", was also attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, Minister of European Union Affairs János Bóka, State Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office János Máté, and Marcell Bíró, the Prime Minister's Chief National Security Advisor.

Speaking in Beijing, Szijjártó said that trade and investment cooperation between Hungary and China will continue to provide a solid basis for economic growth in the coming years. Chinese companies are currently investing HUF 6400 billion in Hungary, creating some 25,000 new jobs directly and making Hungary a global centre of the automotive revolution and technological renewal, he said. He added that starting this summer, there will be twenty-one direct flights a week connecting Budapest with seven Chinese cities.

"There are also new agreements being prepared, and we are also negotiating an agreement to resume Hungary’s export of pork and poultry, with only the technical details left to be negotiated," he said, according to MTI.

Viktor Orbán arrived in Beijing on Monday as part of what he has called a peace mission to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Last week, the Hungarian PM traveled to Moscow in complete secrecy, the trip was not even mentioned by his Press Chief Bertalan Havasi. The Moscow trip was not communicated in advance to the foreign ministries of EU member states or to the leaders of the EU, nor were major NATO allies such as the United States and the United Kingdom officially notified of the plans for an Orbán-Putin meeting. Commenting on the meeting, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs wrote that: Viktor Orban visited Moscow exclusively in the context of bilateral relations between Hungary and Russia. Orbán also visited Kyiv a few days before going to Moscow. On 5 and 6 July, he attended the summit of the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS) in Azerbaijan.

On the Azerbaijan trip, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs wrote that Hungary had not received a mandate from the Council of the European Union to advance relations with the Organisation of Turkic States. As an EU member state, Hungary currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union until 31 December.

According to his social media post, Orbán's next destination is Washington D.C, where he will likely be attending the NATO summit.

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