China, Hungary agree rail schemes and ‘full-spectrum’ nuclear cooperation

The Hungarian Parliament in Budapest. One of the proposed projects is a rail bypass of the city to speed up freight transport (Jorge Franganillo/CC BY 2.0 Deed)
President Xi Jinping’s visit to Hungary last week resulted in commitments to cooperate on rail, nuclear, and other infrastructure, Reuters reports.

Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said on Facebook that they included a rail bypass of Budapest that would speed up the transportation of goods produced by Chinese factories in eastern Hungary to Western Europe.

There could also be a high-speed railway between Budapest and its international airport.

China is already involved in a $2.9bn scheme to upgrade rail between Budapest and Belgrade – part of the old Orient Express.

The medium-speed service, which is expected to begin in 2025, will cut the travel time between the two capitals from eight hours to less than three. 

In a joint press conference Thursday, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban said the two countries had agreed to expand their cooperation to the “whole spectrum” of the nuclear industry.

Also mentioned was a national network of EV charging stations and an oil pipeline between Hungary and Serbia.

He added that China and Hungary had formed an “all-weather” partnership.

China uses the phrase to denote some 14 countries such as Pakistan and Zimbabwe with which it has better-than-normal relations.

Xi’s visit did not coincide with an announcement that Chinese EV maker Great Wall Motors would build an assembly plant in the country, as local media had predicted.

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