China and Hungary form new, major alliance, says PM Orban

Budapest, June 25 (MTI) – China will buy “a certain sum” of Hungarian government bonds and extend a one billion-euro credit line to Hungary, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said in Budapest on Saturday at a joint news conference with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban, who said Hungary had now entered into a new and major alliance with China.  

Wen Jiabao said the credit line aimed at boosting bilateral trade to 20 billion dollars by 2015.


Orban noted that two countries had signed twelve agreements on substantive programmes, investments and financial frameworks.


“I regard today as an exceptionally important milestone and success in terms of Hungary’s renewal,” Orban said after holding talks for over an hour with Wen.


The Chinese premier said that his country believed in the development potential of Hungary.


China, he said, was ready to purchase “a certain sum” of Hungarian government bonds, and the Chinese state development bank will extend a one-billion-euro credit line to Hungary for the purpose of advancing mutual investments, he said.


Orban said that for Hungary’s current transformation to be successful a complete economic turnaround should take place, and for this to happen a new type of alliance and alliances are needed.


“Today we concluded negotiations so that China and Hungary should have such a new alliance with one another,” Orban said.


He said the two countries thought about the future in similar ways, and Hungary is determined and committed to putting the economy on the foundations of labour and value-creating work, adding both believed that it was impossible to thrive without employment.


“This conviction is the basis for our future cooperation,” the Hungarian premier added.


Asked by a journalist about whether ideological issues had been discussed, Orban said “we understand one another: we respect one another’s politics and this is a principle underpinning our cooperation.”


Hungarian and Chinese companies in the chemical industry have struck agreements on investments worth one billion dollars, and Chinese has indicated its desire to create its central and eastern European logistical hub in Hungary, he said. China has agreed to underwrite a doubling of bilateral trade, he added.


“We are getting historic aid from China,” Orban said, adding that Hungary regarded China’s willingness to by Hungarian government bonds as important.


He said Hungary was capable of financing itself from the financial markets but “for my own part I see that this rids us of medium-term uncertainties in respect of the country’s finances.”


Orban said: “We wish China to continue the policies which have produced fantastic achievements over the past decade […] we raise our hats to this fantastic success, which has succeeded in giving a better life to one hundred million people and giving hope to others about the future.”


The prime minister said he had asked Wen Jiabao to pay a visit next year, and that the Chinese premier had accepted the invitation.


Wen told the international news conference that the development of Chinese-Hungarian relations were based on very solid foundations. In the past 24 years, ever since that last Chinese head of government paid a visit to Budapest, the world and Hungary had undergone big changes, but the friendship between the two countries had remained “unbroken”.


He said his the first stop on his current visit to Europe had been Hungary because he saw the two countries’ friendly cooperation and partnership as important. The advance of bilateral cultural relations would be advance by the visit of 150 young Hungarians to China, he announced.


Around one hundred Chinese businessmen are accompanying Wen on his five-day European visit embracing Great Britain and Germany as well as Hungary, people close to the Chinese delegation told MTI.


The Chinese premier will take part in a central and eastern European economic forum at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the afternoon, before being received by President Pal Schmitt and Speaker of Parliament Laszlo Kover.

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