Budapest (Agencies): In a bid to forge an “unfailing comprehensive strategic alliance,” Beijing and Budapest have announced a new phase in their relationship. The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, welcomed the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in Budapest last Thursday. The leaders concurred on enhancing their collaboration and ushering in a “new epoch” in their bilateral ties.

During their joint press conference, both leaders expressed admiration for each other’s countries. Orban lauded China as a “fundamental pillar of the emerging world order.” Xi, addressing the media, said, “Prime Minister Orban and I concur that China and Hungary have consistently been supportive friends and partners pursuing mutual benefits. We should further elevate our relations and enrich our cooperation.”

The leaders revealed a declaration titled “On the Establishment of an Unfailing Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for the New Epoch.” This document outlines a roadmap for fostering a tighter bond between the two nations.

Beijing and Budapest had previously instituted a “comprehensive strategic partnership” in 2017, which both sides later acknowledged as successful. The new document states, “China and Hungary perceive each other as priority partners for cooperation, consistently respect and treat each other equitably, and exemplify mutually beneficial pragmatic cooperation.” It further pledges that both nations have “agreed to sustain high-level exchanges, fortify political mutual trust, and deepen cooperation for mutual benefit.”

Xi’s state visit to Hungary is part of his inaugural European tour in five years. Earlier in the week, Xi visited France and held discussions with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, during a two-day visit. While Xi expressed a willingness to “maintain strategic communication with France,” Macron commended the “amicable relationship and productive cooperation” between the two nations.

Subsequently, Xi visited Serbia, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the 1999 NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, which resulted in the death of three Chinese citizens and injured 20 others.

In an opinion piece published by the Serbian newspaper Politika on Tuesday, Xi wrote, “The Chinese people cherish peace, but we will never allow such tragic history to repeat itself.”

During his visit, the Chinese president met his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic. The two leaders envisioned a “shared future” for their nations. “Serbia became China’s first strategic partner in Central and Eastern Europe eight years ago, and it becomes the first European country with which we shall build a community with a shared future,” Xi stated.

By Media

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