China is a key factor in efforts to achieve balance in world politics and economics in the 21st century, Hungary’s House Speaker László Kövér said in a conference marking 70 years of Sino-Hungarian diplomatic relations, which he attended along with Li Zhanshu, his Chinese counterpart.
Kövér noted that Hungary was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, a few days after the latter’s coming into being in 1949. “Much has changed in the world and in our countries since then,” but inter-state relations have remained stable, “determined by mutual respect and a commitment to developing cooperation,” he said.
The house speaker said that a series of events were being held in both countries to appraise the results and review the possibilities in bilateral relations.
Central and eastern Europe, including Hungary, has had “bitter historical experience about the dangers and tragedies caused by upending the balance of East and West, as well as by attempts to introduce a new balance while ignoring the interests of the states and the peoples living here,” Kövér said.
Hungary has a vested interest in a balance which takes into account “the interests of all concerned”, providing the best circumstances to “preserve our thousand-year-old culture and nation,” he said, adding that Hungary is ready to protect its right to “remain who we are”.
China and Hungary have sealed their friendly relations in a strategic partnership agreement in 2017, Kövér noted, adding that China is Hungary’s largest trading partner outside Europe, with a significant share of foreign investments in Hungary.
In the field of culture and education, four Confucius Institutes are operating in Hungary and eleven universities offering Hungarian courses in China. Hungary also boasts the only Chinese bilingual high school in the region, he said.
Li Zhanshu praised the stable bilateral ties based on mutual respect. This year’s anniversary will give new momentum to an already strong economic and cultural cooperation, he said.
The conference was held at Budapest’s National Public Service University.