An Authoritarian Advance or Creating Room for Manoeuvre? The Case of Hungary’s China Policy
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Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary; Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
Publication date: 2020-06-30
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2020;56(2)
Hungary is one of the most active proponents of cooperation with China in Europe. Sino-Hungarian political relations are thriving and Hungary participates enthusiastically in activities related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), 17+1, and other Chinese initiatives. Hungary is regularly pictured in Western media as an advocate of Chinese interests and a Trojan Horse for China in the old continent. The Chinese influence in Hungary, however, is overestimated, and data shows that China plays a very limited role in Hungarian affairs. It is true that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government frequently makes friendly gestures towards China, but this reflects the ambitions and calculations of the Hungarian side more than China’s efforts to build up influence. This article discusses the context, the motivations, and the aims of Hungary with regard to China and the BRI in order to assess the real impact of Chinese ties with the country.
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