Countries in the region cooperating with China should communicate effectively with each other in this context, a government official told a conference on Wednesday.
Levente Magyar, parliamentary state secretary of the foreign ministry, spoke at the second summit of China and central and eastern European press chiefs held in Budapest.
He said this “important and forward-looking cooperation” had captured the attention of the world.
“Our region is a friend of China” and Hungary wants to be at the forefront of developing relations in the future, he added.
Hungary is “one of the initiators and animators” of cooperation between the region and China which includes 16 countries of the region, he said, noting that cooperation had started several years ago in Budapest with concrete projects such as the Budapest-Belgrade rail link upgrade.
He said Sino-CEE cooperation was an important part of China’s “One belt” initiative aimed at reviving the “Silk Road” linking China and Europe, “two of the most developed regions in the world”. Hungary, he added, now had a historic opportunity to put itself on this map.
He said it was important to communicate both at home and abroad that “this collaborative effort” benefits all rather than excluding anyone.
European allies must be reassured that European interests would not be endangered. “We are building on European interests and Hungarian interests, and we want to see as many partners as possible within this framework of cooperation.”
Guo Weimi, deputy minister of the Chinese government’s information office, noted that China had begun to open up 40 years ago when the Chinese Communist Party’s congress set the aim of “peaceful development, harmonious cooperation and the building of a common future”.
He noted that this opening up had had a great impact on the country and the world.
The deputy minister also mentioned new challenges for government communication in light of changes brought by the internet and the demands of public opinion on which, he added, a social consensus should be built.