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《TAIPEI TIMES》Hungarian MP says Taiwan is a better alternative

A person dressed as Winnie the Pooh holds a balloon, as people gather in Budapest to protest Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Hungary on Thursday.
Photo: Reuters

A person dressed as Winnie the Pooh holds a balloon, as people gather in Budapest to protest Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Hungary on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

2024/05/14 03:00

Staff writer, with CNA

Hungarian Member of Parliament Tompos Marton said he considers Taiwan to be a better alternative to China as a strategic partner.

Marton, who is the vice president of the opposition Momentum Party, made the remarks in an interview with the Central News Agency on Sunday.

He draped a Republic of China flag across his shoulders to protest Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) visit to the capital city, Budapest, on Thursday last week, and openly voiced support for Taiwan on social media.

He said in the interview that he wanted to remind the world that there were alternatives to China, and that “Taiwan has proven to be a very significant and very reliable partner.”

He said that Taiwan has invested in central and eastern European countries, including a Giant bicycle factory in Hungary.

Marton said he appreciated learning about Taiwan and believes the two nations can learn a lot from each other.

However, in the past decade Hungary has focused on building stronger ties with China.

During Xi’s visit, China and Hungary signed 18 agreements, with Hungary becoming China’s sixth “all-weather partner” along with Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Venezuela and Pakistan, Marton said.

As a member of the EU and NATO, Hungary’s pursuit of relations with China does not represent “the elite club” that his country belongs to, he said.

Marton also said he was concerned about the Hungarian government’s willingness to give up its sovereignty when it comes to China and Russia.

He said it was “absurd” that when Xi visited on Europe Day, there was no outward celebration of the continent or the EU.

Instead, everywhere was covered in Chinese flags, he said.

During the visit, his colleagues were approached by Chinese “volunteers” asking about the EU flags they were waving, while Hungarian police looked on, Marton said.

This prompted security concerns, particularly given China had offered to back Hungary in national security matters in February.

There had been reports of Chinese police, as well as Chinese People’s Liberation Army members, potentially being sent to the country, Marton said.

He said that Taiwan should try to heighten its visibility in Hungary by showing the contributions it makes to the central European country, such as the production of electronic devices, to garner more support among Hungarians.

Taiwanese firms are known for treating their workers much better than their Chinese counterparts in Europe, he said.

Being a vocal advocate for Taiwan has attracted the attention of the Chinese embassy, which frequently posts about him on Facebook, such as by saying he is “challenging the good relationship between the two countries and spreading lies,” he said, adding that he was not bothered by it.

“I’m happy to go to Taiwan if I can’t go to China,” he said, adding that he has been invited to visit Taiwan and hopes the visit can take place this year.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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