China offers Orban security cooperation

Beijing's move comes at a time when Hungary's relationship with its EU and NATO allies is at a low level

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Viktor Orban, Photo: Reuters
Viktor Orban, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

China has offered to support longtime strategic partner Hungary in public security beyond trade and investment ties in a rare meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as NATO struggles to expand its network in Europe.

China hopes to deepen security ties with Hungary as the two countries mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Public Security Minister Wang Xiaohong told Orban last Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Wang Xiaohong
photo: REUTERS

During his visit to Budapest, Wang said that he hopes that such efforts will be "a new peak in bilateral relations such as the fight against terrorism and transnational crimes.

In a statement on the occasion of the meeting with Vanga on Friday, Orbán's spokesman announced that the prime minister said that "respect is less and less in international diplomacy, but that it has always existed between Hungary and China."

"The negotiating parties drew attention to the importance of security and stability," said the spokesman.

Wang also met with Interior Minister Sandor Pinter, and documents were signed on cooperation in the field of security and law enforcement, Xinhua reported, but did not give further details.

China's security assurances come at a time when Hungary, Russia's ally, has been working to reduce its dependence on the West for the last ten years under Orbán. Hungary has also recently been resisting the pressure for NATO expansion in Europe.

Hungary is the only NATO country that has not ratified Sweden's entry into the security bloc.

China criticizes NATO, especially after this military alliance announced last year that Beijing threatens its interests, security and values ​​with "ambitions and coercive policies".

Chinese state media call NATO a "serious" challenge to global peace and stability, Reuters points out.

The security pact with Hungary represents a diplomatic victory for China in the EU, as the bloc reviews its relations with the world's second-largest economy over human rights, trade imbalances and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Central European country's growing fondness for Beijing has already created a rift in the EU's common stance.

Hungary has on several occasions sidelined or opposed the EU's stance on China on issues such as human rights, and has welcomed Chinese investment despite calls for EU members to align their relations with China with those of the bloc.

Hungary is home to Huawei's largest logistics and production base outside of China, despite warnings from the European Commission that the telecommunications giant poses a risk to EU security.

Since 2016, Huawei has partnered with Shanghai-based artificial intelligence firm Yitu Technology to work on smart city solutions that would improve public safety and policing through the use of artificial intelligence and surveillance.

Hungary will soon host the first European plant of the Chinese car manufacturer BYD (002594.SZ).

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