Embarking on a Golden Voyage in China-Hungary Relations

As an old Chinese saying goes, "No mountain and ocean can distance people with shared aspirations." Our Hungarian friends often say, "A good friend is more precious than gold."

5 mins read
Chinese President Xi Jinping's plane arrives in Budapest, Hungary, May 8, 2024. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

In May when the fragrance of flowers and grass on the Great Hungarian Plain fills the air, I will pay a state visit to Hungary at the invitation of President Tamas Sulyok and Prime Minister Viktor Orban. This will be my second time to come to this land of beauty and abundance in a span of 15 years.

Over the past 15 years, I have met with visiting Hungarian leaders on many occasions. We have forged a deep friendship. I very much look forward to returning to your country to renew our friendship and work with my friends on a new blueprint for China-Hungary relations and cooperation in the new era.

Hungary is home to magnificent natural landscapes and talented people and is known for its profound historical and cultural heritage. The epic works of the patriotic poet Sandor Petofi and the powerful melodies of the great virtuoso pianist Franz Liszt impressed the world. The Hungarian people, being industrious, intelligent, open, inclusive, pioneering and creative, have contributed to human civilization with inventions of the modern ballpoint pen, holography, and the Rubik’s Cube, to name just a few.

Although our two countries are geographically far apart, our two peoples have been friends for centuries. China and Hungary stood together in solidarity and looked out for each other in trying times of the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving behind many touching stories of friendship. Our long-standing friendship is as mellow and rich as Tokaji wine.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of China-Hungary diplomatic relations. The bilateral relationship has since been developing and growing steadily and soundly with tangible results achieved in all fields. We respect and treat each other as equals, and pursue mutually beneficial cooperation. We see each other as a priority partner of cooperation. We have gone through hardships together and defied power politics together amid volatile international situations. We have found our respective path for sovereign states to independently conduct friendly exchanges with other countries.

Over the past 75 years, China and Hungary have remained good friends and treated each other with sincerity. We have kept our original aspiration for friendship in mind since the establishment of diplomatic ties. We have respected and supported the development path of our own choice respectively. We have shown understanding and provided support to each other on issues that bear on our respective core interests and are of major concern to us. We have taken delight in each other’s progress in national development and revitalization. We have developed a high degree of political mutual trust. Our bilateral relationship is at its best in history, and has embarked on a golden voyage.

Over the past 75 years, China and Hungary have remained good partners for win-win cooperation. Focusing on high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, our two countries are strengthening synergy in development strategies and deepening results-oriented cooperation in such areas as investment, infrastructure, finance, new energy, and telecommunication technology. Our cooperation is injecting new impetus into global economic recovery. Today Hungary is China’s top investment destination as well as its important trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe. Our bilateral cooperation is strong, fruitful, and dynamic.

Over the past 75 years, China and Hungary have remained good friends and learned from each other. The Hungarian Cultural Center in Beijing has been operating for years with success. The China Cultural Center in Budapest will soon be officially inaugurated. Hungarian language courses are on the curriculum of many Chinese universities. The Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms are gaining popularity and participation in Hungary. The Hungarian-Chinese bilingual school in Budapest has fostered a great number of Hungarians who are carrying forward our friendship. Exchanges and mutual visits at the subnational level are growing. Direct passenger flights reach double-digit per week. Measures to facilitate two-way travels are in place and delivering substantial results. The more exchanges between our peoples, the stronger the foundations of our friendship will be.

Currently, China and Hungary both stand at an important stage of development. China is pursuing high-quality development and promoting high-standard opening up, and is working to build itself into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through the Chinese path to modernization.

Hungary on its part is making every effort for greater development. During my upcoming visit, I hope to work together with Hungarian leaders to renew China-Hungary traditional friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and take the China-Hungary comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights.

-Our two countries need to carry forward our tradition of friendship and strengthen the political foundations of bilateral relationship. Stronger political mutual trust is the cornerstone of rapid and steady development of China-Hungary relations. China is willing to build on the 75 years of our diplomatic relations and work with Hungary to make top-level designs for the relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective, sustain the strong momentum of high-level interactions, and support regular exchanges and policy communication between our governments, legislatures and political parties. We should continue to firmly support each other on issues that involve our respective core interests. This will provide a strong political guarantee for the high-standard development of China-Hungary relations.

-Our two countries need to forge greater synergy in development strategies and strive for new highlights in practical cooperation. We will work with Hungary to forge greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Hungary’s Eastern Opening strategy, and accelerate the construction of the Budapest-Belgrade railway link and other significant cooperation projects. China will stay committed to promoting high-standard opening up. We will strengthen cooperation with Hungary in clean energy, artificial intelligence, digital economy, green development, and other emerging areas, foster new quality productive forces, and serve our respective high-quality development.

-Our two countries need to expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cement public support for bilateral relations. People-to-people connectivity is an endless source of strength for China-Hungary relations. China is willing to expand with Hungary exchanges and cooperation in education, culture, tourism, sport, youth, the media and at the subnational level, support the teaching of each other’s languages, make full use of cultural centers, and encourage more communication and interaction between peoples and between institutions. We will continue to work with Hungary to upgrade mutual visa facilitation, expand direct flights, and facilitate people-to-people exchanges.

-Our two countries need to lead regional cooperation and keep to the right direction of China-Europe relations. The cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries conforms with the trends of the times and development, and serves the common interests of all relevant countries. It is also an important complement to the overall China-Europe relationship. Recently, there are signs of stability for the better in China-Europe relations. As comprehensive strategic partners, China and Europe have a broad range of shared interests. Their relationship is more cooperative than competitive and features more consensus than differences. The two sides have the responsibility to provide together more stability for the world and more impetus for global development. We are ready to work with Hungary to deepen and substantiate China’s cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries and to ensure steady and sustained growth of China-Europe relations.

-Our two countries need to enhance communication on international affairs and join hands to address global challenges. At present, transformation not seen in a century is accelerating across the world and global challenges keep emerging. The international community must make a response together. China and Hungary have similar views and positions on international and regional situations. It is important that we stay committed to solidarity and collaboration, champion humanity’s common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, and practice true multilateralism. We should advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, endeavor continuously to build a community with a shared future for mankind, and inject more positive energy into safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

As an old Chinese saying goes, “No mountain and ocean can distance people with shared aspirations.” Our Hungarian friends often say, “A good friend is more precious than gold.” On the new journey of the new era, China looks forward to working closely with our Hungarian friends to write new stories of friendship, open a new chapter of cooperation, and strive for a better future for the two peoples. 

Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China

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