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China offers backing to Hungary in security matters, law enforcement

by Martin Fornusek February 19, 2024 12:12 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Oct. 17, 2023. (Viktor Orban / X)
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China has offered long-term support to Budapest in the security field, expanding mutual ties beyond economic cooperation, Reuters reported on Feb. 19 after Chinese Public Security Minister Wang Xiaohong's visit to Hungary.

Wang met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Feb. 16 as the two countries aim to deepen their friendship and "strengthen communication and coordination in international and regional affairs," the Chinese state-owned news agency Xinhua said.

Under Orban, Hungary has been fostering close ties with authoritarian regimes like China or Russia, much to the dismay of its EU and NATO partners.

Wang reportedly said he hopes to open a new level of cooperation with the Central European country in areas such as combating terrorism and transnational crimes.

Explainer: China’s increasing role in Russia’s war against Ukraine
Just days before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February, China’s leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a “friendship without limits,” agreeing there would be no “forbidden areas of cooperation.” Unsurprisingly then, Beijing did not condemn Russia’s all-out w…

These efforts should also include security capacity building under China's Belt and Road Initiative, Reuters said.

During his stay in Hungary, Wang signed documents on law enforcement and security cooperation with Hungarian Interior Minister Sandor Pinter, according to Reuters.

A security pact between Hungary and China is likely to further strain Budapest's relationship with Western countries.

Orban has repeatedly undermined Western consensus on supporting Ukraine and countering Russia, delaying aid and sanctions. Hungary is also the last country that has not yet ratified Sweden's accession to NATO.

In turn, Russia has been building a tight partnership with China. While not providing direct military support, Beijing has continued deepening economic cooperation, refused to denounce Russia's aggression, and helped the country counter Western sanctions.

Orban says Ukraine should be ‘buffer zone’ between Russia and West
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Ukraine should be left as a “buffer zone” between Russia and the West, with allies giving the country security guarantees but not accepting it into the EU or NATO.
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