China and EU emphasise partnership, reject rivalry in phone call between foreign ministers

Wang Yi

28th September 2023 – (Beijing) Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi asserted on Wednesday that China and the European Union (EU) are partners rather than rivals. Wang made this statement during a telephonic conversation with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, emphasising the importance of fair competition and rejecting protectionism in the manufacturing industry.

As a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Wang expressed his hope that Hungary would continue advocating for a more positive and open cooperation policy towards China within the EU. He urged Hungary to work together with China in practicing genuine multilateralism, upholding the UN-centred international system, and fostering the steady development of China-EU relations.

Wang specifically addressed the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation into China’s electric vehicles, deeming it a violation of the fundamental principles of international trade. He warned that such actions could potentially disrupt global automotive industrial and supply chains. Wang emphasised that China remains committed to pursuing a green, low-carbon, and sustainable development path, aligning with the EU’s own developmental trajectory.

In response, Minister Szijjarto expressed Hungary’s strong opposition to any decoupling efforts from China. He highlighted Hungary’s desire for close cooperation between the EU and China, emphasizing their support for measures that promote fair competition and cooperation. Szijjarto also commended China’s contributions to promoting peace in Europe and expressed hope that China would continue to play an active role in this regard.

The phone call between the Chinese and Hungarian foreign ministers underscored the mutual commitment to fostering a partnership between China and the EU. Both sides emphasised the significance of fair competition, rejected protectionist measures, and expressed a desire for continued cooperation and positive engagement.