In a speech at a summit between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries held in the city of Suzhou, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that Europe has been attacked, and is exposed to further threats. Security has now become the key priority in Europe, he said.
“We have only just arrived from Europe, and therefore we cannot get away from the thought that Europe has been attacked, and is exposed to the threat of further terrorist attacks”, the Prime Minister said.
In his speech – delivered in English – he said that the violent acts committed in Paris amounted to a simultaneous attack on all EU Member States.
“We must draw the necessary conclusions, and must face up to the grave consequences”, Mr. Orbán declared.
“We Europeans must admit that we are rich, but weak at the same time. This is perhaps the most dangerous possible combination. We had security up to this point in time, but from now on we must take firm measures in order to protect our security and the lives of our citizens”, Mr. Orbán pointed out.
“This is why it is important for Europe that the leaders of China support the efforts made with a view to regaining Europe’s security, and promote the fight against terrorism at all global political forums”, he said.
In reference to cooperation between China and CEE countries – also known as 16+1 cooperation, which was officially launched in 2012 – Mr. Orbán said that “every parent is satisfied to see their children grow up”. He recalled the initial preparations for the initiative in Hungary and the first summit held in Poland, and said that this cooperation may continue on a new level at the fourth summit.
He said he clearly remembers the reactions following the first full meeting: these were sceptical, also claiming that China would draw the CEE countries into its sphere of influence, thereby eventually causing them substantial losses. He said that at the time it was a widely held view that China’s strengthening would only be temporary, and would be greatly undermined by the financial crisis.
“Today, however, we are observing quite the opposite: China is on a path of permanent, long-term growth, and we all know that it will soon become the strongest economy in the world”, Mr. Orbán said.
He stressed that while the partners concerned are far from equal in strength, relations are based on equality and mutual respect.
The Prime Minister said that Chinese investments worth more than USD 3.5 billion have been brought to Hungary. As he pointed out, rather than putting any “pressure” at all on the country, this is creating a mutually advantageous situation. He added that both parties would like this trend to continue.
Mr. Orbán took the view that these relations have passed the test of time, and as regards the future, they stand on the threshold of enormous opportunities.
(MTI - kormany.hu)