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Taiwan Warns Hungary About Doing Business With China

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John Gizzi By Thursday, 23 May 2024 12:37 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

As Hungary is beginning to launch a new and potentially profitable relationship with China, Taiwan on Thursday offered a not-so-subtle warning about doing business with the island-nation's communist archenemy.

"China does invest big in other countries, but it weaponizes its [relationships]," Taiwanese Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang told a group of international journalists visiting Taipei.

His warning came in response to a question from a Hungarian journalist about Taiwan's reaction to a recent agreement between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban — one that includes the $2.1 billion reconstruction of the Budapest-Belgrade railway, most of which is financed by a loan from China and is part of the "Belt and Road" Initiative, an ambitious plan launched by Xi a decade ago to build global infrastructure and energy networks connecting Asia with Africa and Europe.

Orban has said the two countries could expand their new relationship into the nuclear industry and Xi predicted that the "pragmatic cooperation" with Hungary could move into a "golden channel and move toward a higher level."

Tien recalled how China used to provide the largest group of tourists to South Korea, but, in his words, "when South Korea began developing new offensive missiles, the Chinese became upset and stopped all tourists from coming to South Korea."

When Xi had a similar dispute with the Australian government, Tien said, "they stopped importing Australian red wine and Australian lobsters. So Taiwan began importing red wine and lobsters from Australia. We called the lobsters 'freedom lobsters' and the lobsters and wine 'freedom cholesterol.' "

The No. 2 official at Taiwan's Foreign Affairs Ministry contrasted China's policy of sending its money abroad with that of his own country.

"When Russia invaded Ukraine, we were one of the first countries to send assistance," he said, recalling how Taiwan immediately sent Ukraine 700 tons of goods and $50 million in cash collected "from the Taiwanese people themselves."

But China, he warned, "invests [in other countries] for their own purposes. And then turns around and turns against them."

Tien pointed out that Taiwan itself "used to send 40% of our exports to China before 2016. But we realized that the relationship is unreliable, so we began to diversify our trade and now do business with 18 countries. Our exports to China are now down to 30% to 33%."

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
As Hungary is beginning to launch a new and potentially profitable relationship with China, Taiwan on Thursday offered a not-so-subtle warning about doing business with the island-nation's communist archenemy.
taiwan, hungary, china, ukraine, xi jinping, tien chung-kwang
388
2024-37-23
Thursday, 23 May 2024 12:37 PM
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