NATO should not turn into an anti-China bloc, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said in Brussels on Wednesday, adding that mutually beneficial cooperation was preferable to rivalry.
“We haven’t entered, neither do we want to enter … competition between China and Europe or China and Hungary,” according to a ministry statement quoting Szijjarto as saying at a press conference after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. He said relations should not be spoken of in military terms.
Mutually beneficial cooperation should embrace “the automotive revolution”, he said, noting that European manufacturers had become dependent on South Korean and Chinese batteries.
Szijjarto said political decisions had been made in Brussels regarding the car industry, vital to Europe’s economic future, in the direction of the industry’s radical renewal. “There are too many interests by now for this transition not to be successful,” he said.
While developments for manufacturing electric cars went ahead in Europe, politicians forgot to create batteries production capacities, which are largely owned by Chinese companies, he said.
“So, anyone advocating the separation of the Chinese and European economies risks landing a massive blow to the European economy,” he said, noting that trade between China and EU member states exceeded 870 billion euros.
Hungary understands the significance of this since it is home to German car manufacturers and the largest Chinese and Korean battery manufacturers, he said. Without their cooperation, the European car industry could not undergo renewal and European environmental protection standards would not be fulfilled, he added.
The war in Ukraine, Szijjarto said, had precipitated the emergence of divisive blocs, “which is especially bad news for central Europe, since the region has always lost out whenever there was a conflict between East and West.”
Referring to China’s peace plan for Ukraine, he said the plan may provide a suitable starting point for international negotiations. The sooner there is a ceasefire and the sooner peace talks begin, the more lives can be saved in Ukraine,” the minister concluded.