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Wang Yi Holds Talks with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto

On May 31, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto in Guiyang.

Wang Yi said the pandemic is still spreading, but communication between the two countries has never been blocked. You are the first foreign minister of a European Union (EU) country to visit China since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year. Your visit to Guiyang clearly demonstrates Hungary's friendship towards China and the strong development momentum of China-Hungary relations with practical action.

Wang Yi said that, China and Hungary have made great achievements in friendly cooperation and created a lot of "firsts" in recent years. Specifically, Hungary is the first European country that signed memoranda of understanding on Belt and Road cooperation with China. Hungary is the first country that set up a RMB clearing bank in Central and Eastern Europe. Hungary is the first European country that opened bilingual schools to teach in both Hungarian and Chinese. Hungary is also the first EU member that recognized and used Chinese vaccine. These "firsts" fully demonstrate that China-Hungary relations are developing at a high level and of high quality. We should seize the opportunities and ride on the momentum to seek more cooperation and jointly overcome challenges.

Wang Yi said, the bilateral trade between the two countries increased by 64.7 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year, showing great resilience and potential. China's investment in Hungary has continued to grow, making Hungary the No. 1 investment destination in Central and Eastern Europe. The direct cargo flights between China's Zhengzhou and Ningbo and Hungarian capital Budapest have been successfully launched, serving as an "air corridor" for bilateral economic and trade exchanges in the face of the pandemic and effectively enhancing the position of Hungary as a logistics hub. China is ready to hold the third meeting of the Belt and Road working group with Hungary as soon as possible to deepen cooperation in infrastructure, logistics, education and agriculture, so as to inject new vitality into the development of China-Hungary relations.

Wang Yi said that in the face of the severe situation of the epidemic, Hungary has decided to take the lead in approving and using Chinese vaccine, which shows a high trust in Chinese vaccine. China has also overcome difficulties and supplied sufficient vaccines timely to provide strong support for the Hungarian government to safeguard its people's lives and health and restore its economic and social order. The two sides once again proved by actions that China and Hungary are trustworthy partners and good friends who help each other in difficult times. China supports Chinese enterprises in exploring joint bottling and vaccine production with Hungary and stands ready to promote health cooperation between the two countries at a higher level and in more areas, so as to make greater contribution to the ultimate victory over the pandemic.

Szijjarto said that we have met 12 times in the past seven years, which fully demonstrates the close relations between Hungary and China. We would like to thank China for providing several batches of vaccines timely or even ahead of schedule to protect the lives of one million Hungarian people, despite China's own tight demand. We will never forget it. The pandemic is not a political issue. Viruses have no political background. Vaccines are not ideological. Any "stigmatization" or finger-pointing is the last thing we should do. All countries should strengthen cooperation with WHO and work together to fight against the pandemic. Hungary sincerely hopes to strengthen cooperation with Chinese enterprises to promote the production of Chinese vaccine in Hungary and bring benefits to more countries and people.

Szijjarto said, China was Hungary's largest source of foreign investment last year, and the bilateral trade between the two countries grew rapidly in the first quarter of this year. Hungary is committed to implementing a fair investment policy and will not discriminate or treat any country or enterprise differently. Hungary welcomes Huawei and other Chinese enterprises to expand investment in Hungary and increase input in research and development. Hungary hopes to increase the export of high-quality agricultural products to China and constantly improve the quality and level of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Szijjarto said that China is Europe's partner and never interferes in the internal affairs of European countries. Hungary firmly supports the development of China-Europe relations and the growth of the cooperation mechanism between China and Central and Eastern European Countries. Hungary opposes any words and deeds that weaken Europe-China relations and supports the signing of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. It goes against the interest of Europe to freeze this process.

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