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China decoupling would be suicidal for EU Hungary warns

The US has been pushing its allies to reduce ties with Beijing

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has called China a strategic trade partner for the EU and a major source of foreign direct investment, warning that any move to scale back ties with Beijing would be disastrous for the bloc.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum’s annual conference in Tianjin, China, he stated that both “decoupling” and “de-risking” would be “suicide” for the EU economy.

“How could you decouple without killing the European economy?” Szijjarto asked.


The minister’s warning comes as EU countries struggle to come up with a unified strategy on China, amid growing pressure from Washington to take a more cautious approach to Beijing.

The United States remains the top trade partner of the EU, but in 2022 China was the leading exporter to Europe and the third-largest buyer of EU goods.

Szijjarto stressed that Hungary does not view China as a threat, and sees no reason for “de-risking,” a term used by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a speech in March, when calling on Europe to reduce its trade dependence on China.

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“We look at China as a country with which, if you cooperate, you can take a lot of benefit out of it,” the Hungarian explained.

Describing the political atmosphere in Europe as “very ideological, very emotional,” Szijjarto warned that treating China as a rival was futile, and called on other European leaders to be more rational.

“It’s obvious that if you want to compete with China, if you want to look at China as a rival to us, then we Europeans will lose,” he said.

“Why don’t we come back to the basis of rationality, common sense, reality and pragmatism, and why don’t we start to make an even closer relationship with China than before,” Szijjarto suggested.


For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

June 28, 2023 at 02:01PM

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