cc. One of the European heads of government, who attended the conference on the “One Belt, One Road” in Beijing, was the Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orbán. In Peking himself, he got on record in a detailed interview conducted by Chinese television. The following press release of the Hungarian government provides important passages of his interview in direct or reported speech.
According to the Prime Minister Victor Orbán, we have arrived at a cusp between historical eras: the old model for globalisation – built on the assumption that money, profit and technological know-how are in the West, flowing “from there to less developed, eastern countries” – has lost its impetus.
This [the old model] has changed in recent decades, he said, and especially over the past ten years: the global economy’s engine room is no longer in the West, but in the East. More precisely, “the East has caught up with the West”, he explained: with regard to their level of technological development Eastern enterprises are no longer behind the West, and “in fact the largest amounts of money have accumulated in Asia”, and “are now flowing back towards the West”.
What is also being seen in the Hungarian economy, the Prime Minister continued, is that over the past year or two large American and European companies have been bought up by Chinese enterprises, leading to a sharp increase in the number of Hungarian development projects that are now Chinese-owned. He added that “This movement of capital is totally different to what we have been used to, and to what we have been taught about how the global economy operates”.
Mr Orbán also spoke about the fact that a large part of the world has also had enough of the old form of globalisation, because it divided the world into two halves: teachers and students. It has become increasingly offensive, he said, that a few developed countries have been continuously lecturing most of the world on human rights, democracy, development and the market economy.
For this reason, the strongest of those who have had enough of this – China – has launched “another direction of movement”, which it has called “One Belt, One Road”, and which is specifically built on mutual acceptance. “There is no teacher and no student”, and everyone has the right to their own social structure, culture, approach and values, he said, quoting the President of China.
We should not be striving to change each other or to form separate alliances, but to accept each other the way we are, and instead link these countries, nations and economies, the Prime Minister said.
With regard to its economic content, he said that the “One Belt, One Road” forum in Beijing was therefore primarily concerned with creating the conditions for maritime trade, the construction of railway lines, aerodromes and bridges, the development of road networks and the modern linking of the peoples who live along the former Silk Road.
On the subject of his bilateral talks during his visit to Beijing, Mr Orbán explained that he had held talks with the Chinese head of state, the Premier, the Speaker of the House and investors, and in the course of these meetings important agreements were concluded – primarily of an economic and financial nature. The Prime Minister Orbán said that the “most spectacular” of these agreements is the modernisation of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line, the financial conditions of which were also discussed.
This means that the public procurement tenders can soon be made public and construction work on the project can begin. In addition, he said, an agreement was concluded on China Exim Bank and the Hungarian Development Bank mobilising Chinese capital to assist Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises and Chinese enterprises investing in Hungary.
The Prime Minister said that the bilateral talks had therefore led to successful agreements on the creation of many new jobs and major value in the national economy. […] •
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