Orbán In Surprise Visit To China, Focuses On Ukraine: "Peace Mission 3.0 Beijing"

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has made a surprise visit to China, as part of his continued "peace mission" tour that within the last days and week took him to both Moscow and Kiev.

The Hungarian leader revealed the visit by posting a photo of himself on X arriving at the airport in Beijing and being greeted by Deputy Foreign Minister Hua Chunying. He captioned the Monday morning pic with the words, "Peace mission 3.0 Beijing."

This month he's already met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky. The Moscow trip outraged European Union leaders and officials, given Orban says he is acting in an official EU capacity, given that Hungary just recently took over the rotating EU presidency.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell had slammed the Moscow visit and meeting with Putin, saying the Hungarian premier is "not representing the EU in any form."

Orban on Monday met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. While China has been officially neutral on the Ukraine conflict, the US and Western allies have consistently charged that Beijing is aiding and abetting Putin's war.

However, even Ukraine's Zelensky has acknowledged that China's voice is urgently needed toward forging a path to peaceful settlement (which Kiev sees as conditioned on the removal of all Russian troops from occupied territories.

State broadcasters have briefly summarized the Xi-Orban meeting as follows:

During talks with Orban Monday, Xi reiterated Beijing’s call for a ceasefire in Ukraine, according to CCTV.

That longstanding call from Beijing has been criticized in the West as positioned to help Russia consolidate illegal territorial gains as it comes without first stipulating that Moscow’s troops withdraw from Ukrainian territory.

China Daily/Reuters

And CNN comments on the backdrop as follows:

Orban and Xi last met in May, when the Chinese leader was welcomed with fanfare for a state visit to Hungary.

Then, Orban defied a mood of mounting European concern about a security threat posed by Beijing to upgrade the countries’ ties to an “all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership.”

Xi hailed that “successful” outcome during Monday’s meeting and reiterated his wish that Hungary during its EU Council presidency would play an “active role” in promoting the “healthy and stable development” of China-EU relations.

Orban agrees that getting China on board with any peace plan is key to moving peace forward, at a moment Moscow and NATO are still escalating

China "is a key power in creating the conditions" for making peace between Russia and Ukraine, Orban wrote on X, explaining why he came just two months after Xi visited Budapest. Chinese state media reported that Orban briefed Xi on his recent visits to Ukraine and Russia, and that Xi "stressed that an early cease-fire and a political settlement are in the interests of all parties."

As for China-Europe relations broadly, EU members are expected to vote later this year on whether to apply further tariffs on Chinese EVs. 

Notably, Orban's Economy Ministry has blasted additional tariffs as "brutal" - a stance which has served to deepen and cement positive Beijing-Budapest relations. China on Monday repeated its vow to retaliate if the EU moves forward on tariffs.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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