Hungary’s Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, has urged the European Union (EU) to pursue cooperation with China and Asia as a whole, claiming that these regions have become more economically competitive than the EU. Speaking at an informal meeting of EU trade ministers, Szijjarto emphasized that the global economy has experienced a significant transformation in recent years, with the EU witnessing a decline in its economic position. He argued that Brussels’ indiscriminate sanctions policies, particularly those against Russia and the push to decrease reliance on Russian energy, have negatively impacted the EU economy.
Szijjarto highlighted the rising costs of gas and electricity in Europe compared to the United States and China, asserting that distancing the EU from Russia has already caused problems, and doing the same with China would be even more detrimental to the EU economy. He pointed out that China has surpassed the EU in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), with its share of global GDP increasing from 9% in 2010 to the current 18%, while the EU’s share has dropped from 22% to 17%.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister acknowledged that the structure of the world economy has been transformed, ending the West’s automatic competitive advantage. He argued that the Eastern world, particularly China, has significantly strengthened economically, technologically, and in terms of human resources. Szijjarto emphasized that the interdependence between Eastern and Western economies is stronger than ever before and urged the EU not to shy away from this trend.
Warning against denying or ignoring these realities, Szijjarto cautioned that such actions could cause serious damage to the European economy. He highlighted the historical basis of the EU’s economic growth, which relied on the combination of advanced Western technologies and cheap Russian energy. However, this cooperation has been severed, resulting in the decline of the EU’s economic position.
Moreover, Szijjarto opposed the efforts of Western European politicians who seek to cut economic cooperation between Europe and China. He argued that isolating the Chinese and European economies would be a detrimental blow to the European economy, particularly affecting the automotive industry, which heavily relies on Chinese suppliers. The Foreign Minister stressed that if the European car industry is suffocated, it would lead to the destruction of the entire European economy. He criticized Western European politicians for politicizing the issue out of ideology and anger instead of acknowledging the economic reality.
The EU’s relationship with China has become strained in recent years, with both sides viewing each other as economic rivals and expressing dissatisfaction with the other’s policies. However, Szijjarto believes that cutting off economic cooperation with China would be counterproductive for the European economy.
In conclusion, Hungary’s Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, has called on the EU to pursue cooperation with China and Asia, highlighting their increasing competitiveness in comparison to the EU. He warned against isolating the Chinese and European economies, arguing that it would severely impact the European economy, particularly the automotive industry. Szijjarto emphasized the need to acknowledge the changing structure of the world economy and the interdependence between Eastern and Western economies. He criticized Western European politicians for politicizing the issue instead of considering the economic reality.