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The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hungarian President Viktor Orban was highly praised by both parties. Orban called Hungary the only country in Europe that is advocating for peace in Ukraine and expressed support for China’s peace initiative. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto also highlighted the cooperation between Hungary and China as a significant opportunity. This visit was seen as an opportunity for China to improve its reputation in Europe amid growing opposition and geopolitical challenges.

China and Hungary agreed to 17 deals that involve Hungary participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. These deals cover areas such as investment in nuclear energy, supply chain improvements, green development, and boosting finance and trade. Xi described the cooperation as bringing China and Central and Eastern Europe closer together in a wider scope. The partnership also designates Hungary as one of the countries that support China’s efforts against U.S. power and receive investment and diplomatic support.

China’s peace plan for Ukraine, which includes calls for an immediate ceasefire and an end to unilateral sanctions, has been met with both praise and criticism. While some agree with aspects of the plan such as protecting civilians and facilitating grain exports, others see ulterior motives in China’s offer to assist in post-conflict reconstruction. China’s involvement in the reconstruction of Ukraine could strengthen its overall engagement with Europe and increase its influence on the continent.

The visit further solidified China and Hungary’s comprehensive strategic partnership, with Xi lauding Hungary’s role in the EU and emphasizing the importance of China-EU relations. The cooperation between the two countries is expected to bring mutual benefits, with Hungary exporting agricultural products, technology, and media services to China in return for investments and trade support. The “all-weather” partnership places Hungary in a select group of Chinese allies alongside countries like Belarus, Pakistan, and Venezuela.

China has been seeking to reset its relationship with Europe and Hungary’s warm reception is seen as a diplomatic win for Beijing. The visit marked a significant step in deepening ties between the two countries and expanding cooperation in various sectors. By endorsing China’s peace initiative and participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, Hungary is aligning itself more closely with China’s strategic interests in the region. The partnership is expected to have long-term implications for both countries’ economic development and geopolitical influence.

Despite some skepticism surrounding China’s peace plan for Ukraine, the visit between Xi Jinping and Viktor Orban highlighted the growing cooperation and alignment of interests between China and Hungary. The agreements signed during the visit are expected to boost investment, trade, and cooperation in various sectors, further solidifying the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. Hungary’s support for China’s initiatives and its role in the EU are likely to strengthen China’s position in Europe and enhance its influence in the region.

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