China, Hungary leaders agree to step up bilateral relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban have agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations through China's Belt and Road initiative.

Xi met with Orban on Thursday in Hungary, the final stop on his European tour after France and Serbia.

Hungary places importance on its ties with China. While the European Union is seeking to "de-risk" its relations with Beijing by reducing excessive economic reliance, EU member Hungary is stepping up economic ties with China.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported that Xi called the state of the China-Hungary relationship "at its best in history."

The report also cited Xi as saying that the two sides should "inject new and strong impetus into bilateral cooperation."

The two leaders reportedly agreed to proceed with the construction of a railway connecting Hungary and Serbia under the Belt and Road initiative. They also affirmed that the two nations will enhance ties through investments by Chinese companies.

After the meeting, Orban told reporters that the world is now multipolar, and that one of the pillars of this new world order is China.

The prime minister also expressed a willingness to expand cooperation with China to the field of nuclear power generation.

Hungary is scheduled to hold the rotating presidency of the EU in the latter half of this year.

Observers say Xi is trying to drive a wedge between EU members by solidifying ties with Budapest.