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Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) during a joint press conference in Budapest, Hungary, on May 9, 2024. (Photo by SZILARD KOSZTICSAK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he supports the "Chinese peace plan" during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Budapest on May 9.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry published a 12-point statement in Feb. 2023 outlining Beijing’s position on the “political settlement” of Russia’s full-scale war. Many Western leaders dismissed the proposal, noting that it would likely only work in Russia’s favor.

"Today, Europe is on the side of war," Orban said during a joint press conference with President Xi. "The only exception is Hungary, which calls for an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations and supports all international efforts that point towards peace...We also support the Chinese peace initiative presented by Xi Jinping.”

The Chinese President is currently on a tour of Europe. Over the last week, President Xi has met with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Hungary is the only EU country to have maintained close ties with the Kremlin since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In stark contrast to other Western leaders, the Hungarian leader recently congratulated Vladimir Putin on his presidential election "win."

Beijing has similarly maintained close ties with Moscow during the war, tightening economic cooperation and disrupting Western attempts at isolating Russia.

"Twenty years ago, we lived in a single-centered world order, and now in a multi-centered one, and one of the pillars of this new world order is the People's Republic of China, which is now decisive in world economic and world political processes," Orban added.

Ukraine is keeping diplomatic channels with China open, even though Beijing has maintained close ties with Moscow. European officials have urged Beijing to use its influence over Moscow to help end the war.

Following the release of the Chinese peace plan last year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to consider the proposal but said that the plan would not likely move forward because it did not require Russian troops to leave Ukrainian territory or promise a return of Russian-occupied Ukraine to the Ukrainian government.  

US sanctions Russia, Chinese companies for war effort support
The U.S. imposed new sanctions on May 1 against nearly 300 companies and individuals in Russia and third countries, including Chinese companies, for aiding Moscow’s war effort, the Treasury Department announced.

Zelensky introduced his 10-point peace plan in Fall 2022, which included a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from occupied Ukrainian lands. The Swiss government will host a peace summit next month to discuss this plan, with some 160 national delegations invited to the talks.

President Zelensky announced earlier this week that he had invited Orban to the summit but did not confirm that the Hungarian leader agreed to attend.

Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak confirmed this month that the Ukrainian government strongly encourages Chinese participation in the summit.

“With respect to China, we are doing everything for China to be present there. China is very important, and consultations are continuously ongoing at various levels with the participation of our partners,” Yermak said.

American officials, however, said that they did not believe that China would be open to agreeing to Ukraine's 10-point peace formula.

Zelensky holds ‘focused’ call with Orban, invites him to peace summit
President Volodymyr Zelensky held “a lengthy and focused” call with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on May 8, Zelensky wrote on X.
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