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NATO ally endorses China’s Ukraine peace plan as Beijing applauds ‘model’ of European diplomacy

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The visit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hungarian President Orbán drew enthusiastic praise from both sides, with President Xi Jinping calling the president a “model” for diplomatic relations with Europe and Orbán supporting the Chinese government’s peace plan for Ukraine. It ended with that.

“Today, Europe is on the side of war,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a joint press conference on Thursday.

“The only exception is Hungary, which calls for an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations and supports all international efforts towards peace. … We also support the China peace initiative presented by Xi Jinping.” he added.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto added that Hungary “sees cooperation with China as a great opportunity and a great opportunity.”

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China is trying to reset its position with Europe in the face of growing opposition and a worsening reputation across the continent. Winning good words from Hungary, which is not only an EU member but also a NATO member, appears to be the kind of PR boost Beijing was hoping for.

Supporters of China raise the Chinese flag at Buda Castle, near the route of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s motorcade, ahead of a meeting between the Chinese president and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest, Hungary, May 9, 2024. . The Chinese President will make a three-day official visit to Budapest starting on the evening of May 8, 2024. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)

Xi’s five-day stay in Hungary was just one of his three visits to Europe, but it ended with the declaration of a “new era all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership” between China and Hungary, and officials announced argued that this “serves more than mere semantics.” “It’s important,” the Financial Times reported.

The “all-weather” designation comes as President Xi now considers Budapest to be among the “countries that most support China’s efforts to counter U.S. power and are increasingly rewarded with investment, trade and diplomatic support.” It shows that FT newspaper reported.

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The two countries have agreed to 17 agreements to incorporate Hungary into China’s ongoing Belt and Road Initiative, including investments in nuclear energy, improving supply chains, green development, and promoting Hungarian finance and trade, in return. It will export agricultural products, technology, and agriculture. media services.

China Europe NATO

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Budapest, Hungary, May 9, 2024. (Xie Huanzhi/Xinhua News Agency, via Getty Images)

Xi also praised the agreement, saying it would help bring cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe to a “broader scope, broader field, and higher level.”

Regarding the agreement, President Xi said, “China attaches great importance to the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU, and believes that Europe is an important pole in an increasingly multipolar world.” “China supports Hungary in playing a greater role within the EU and promoting new and greater development of China-EU relations.”

China One Belt One Road

On May 9, 2024, Chinese President Xi Jinping (L2) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (Republican) meet before an official meeting at Carmelita Monastery, the prime minister’s official residence in the Buda Castle district of Budapest, Hungary. do. (Vivian Cher Benko/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

of South China Morning Post He noted that the “all-weather” partnership would see Hungary aligning itself with China’s allies such as Belarus, Pakistan and Venezuela.

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Last year, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a 12-point peace planIt included many points on which many agreed, including calling for a ban on the use of nuclear weapons, protecting civilians and prisoners of war, promoting grain exports, and promoting reconstruction.

But the plan also called for an end to unilateral sanctions and “maximum pressure,” arguing that only sanctions approved by the UN Security Council should come into force.

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“Countries concerned must refrain from unilateral sanctions against other countries and the abuse of “long-term jurisdiction” in order to contribute to defusing the Ukraine crisis and create conditions for developing countries to grow their economies and improve the lives of their people. should be stopped,” the plan said.

foreign policy last year It published an op-ed by Jo Inge Beckevold, a senior China researcher at the Norwegian Defense Research Institute, criticizing China’s peace plan as having “ulterior motives.”

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For example, China “will seek to establish itself in the reconstruction of post-war Ukraine…” [it] “We have clearly stated that we are ready to provide assistance and play a role in post-conflict reconstruction,” Beckevold said. “No country is perhaps better equipped than China to help rebuild Ukraine.” “No,” he admits.

“Welcoming Chinese assistance, expertise and investment must be an attractive proposition for Ukraine,” Beckevold wrote. “From Beijing’s perspective, contributing to Ukraine’s reconstruction would strengthen China’s overall commitment to Europe.”

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