Xi Jinping visits China-friendly Hungary on final cease of European tour | EUROtoday

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Following a go to to Serbia, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Budapest on Wednesday within the final leg of his European tour geared toward strengthening already flourishing ties between Beijing and its closest EU ally.

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Xi’s three-day go to to Hungary marks 75 years of diplomatic relations between the 2 international locations, with the Chinese chief anticipated to attend a state dinner with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in a while Wednesday.

He started his European journey in France, a go to that was cordial but additionally highlighted tensions between Beijing and the EU over the warfare in Ukraine and world commerce.

Earlier on Wednesday, Xi wrapped up his go to in Serbia, which like Hungary has shut ties to each Russia and China.

China has poured billions into Serbia and neighbouring Balkan international locations, notably into mining and manufacturing, and final 12 months Beijing and Belgrade signed a free-trade settlement.

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic greeted Xi and his spouse Peng Liyuan on a purple carpet outdoors the principle authorities workplaces in Belgrade on Wednesday.

The Chinese chief was met by a gun salute earlier than shaking palms with officers, together with the prime minister and the National Bank of Serbia governor.

The two leaders waved from a balcony to a number of thousand individuals, some waving Chinese flags, as Vucic known as Xi a “friend of Serbia”.

“Such respect and love as he will find here in our Serbia, he will not find anywhere else,” Vucic added.

He additionally advised the gang as Xi applauded: “We have a clear and simple position regarding Chinese territorial integrity. Yes, Taiwan is China.”

Beijing claims the self-ruled island as its personal, and has not dominated out utilizing drive to deliver it below Chinese management.

Xi advised Vucic in opening feedback that there was a “strong feeling of friendship between our two countries”.

They later appeared collectively to signal a joint declaration, with industrial guarantees together with the acquisition of latest Chinese trains, new air hyperlinks, and elevated Serbian imports.

NATO bombing

Streets within the Serbian capital have been decked out with Chinese flags and posters proclaiming a “warm welcome” to “Chinese friends”.

Xi’s go to coincided with the twenty fifth anniversary of the 1999 US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, which killed three individuals.

“Do not forget that our Chinese friends were with us 25 years ago when this country was being demolished and bombed,” Vucic advised the crowds Wednesday.

The embassy was hit throughout a months-long, US-led NATO marketing campaign concentrating on Serbian safety forces who have been at warfare with ethnic-Albanian insurgents in Kosovo.

The United States later apologised, saying outdated maps had led the pilot to strike the flawed goal.

On Tuesday, Xi wrote within the Serbian every day Politika that NATO had “flagrantly bombed the Chinese embassy”, warning that China would “never allow such tragic history to repeat itself”.

Serbia has repeatedly supported China’s claims over Taiwan and in flip, Beijing has lengthy backed Serbia’s territorial claims over the breakaway province of Kosovo.

Along with Russia, China has prevented Kosovo’s recognition on the United Nations.

Xi known as for the 2 international locations to “firmly support each other’s core interests”.

“China supports Serbia in upholding its policy of acting independently… (and) its efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Kosovo issue,” he mentioned Wednesday.

Ukraine fears

“For Serbia, this is without a doubt one of the most significant visits,” Marko Tmusic, a political sciences professor on the University of Belgrade, advised AFP.

In Belgrade, many welcomed Xi’s go to.

“I think it’s an excellent thing, this visit from the president of one of the most powerful countries in the world,” 67-year-old Stojan Vidovic, a retiree, advised AFP.

In France, Xi met President Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who urged him to not permit the export of expertise that might be utilized by Russia in Ukraine and to do all it might to finish the warfare.

Xi warned the West to not “smear” China over the battle and hit again at accusations that Chinese overcapacity was inflicting world commerce imbalances.

Some European allies are involved that whereas formally impartial over the Ukraine battle, China is actually backing Russia, which is utilizing Chinese machine instruments in arms manufacturing.

In Hungary, China has invested closely in huge battery and electrical automobile manufacturing vegetation.

Xi will maintain talks with Orban, who has bucked the European Union’s official place to “de-risk” relations with China.