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Hungarian – Chinese relations: SZTE Confucius Institute extends its tasks


Such official documents were signed in the presence of Szijjártó Péter Hungarian Foreign Minister that designates the additional future tasks of SZTE Confucius Institute. During the Confucius Tea House Szijjártó Péter Minister and Ujhelyi István Representative of the European Parliament has a talk about Hungarian-Chinese relations and in particular about the role of Szeged and of the University of Szeged.

April 21, 2015

Confucius Tea House continued on 16 April 2015 in Szent-Györgyi Albert Agóra which was organized by SZTE Confucius Institute and Public Coffee House of Szeged. The topic of the Tea House was “The government's opening to the east policy and Hungarian-Chinese relations”. Two official documents which determine the future task of SZTE Confucius Institute were signed in the presence of Szijjártó Péter Foreign Minister and Ujhelyi István Representative of the European Parliament.

The joint effort of SZTE Confucius Institute and the University of Szeged is to establish a Chinese Center in Szeged. For this reason a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Szabó Gábor, Rector at the University of Szeged, Ujhelyi István, Founder President of SZTE Confucius Institute and Devecz Miklós, Chancellor at the University of Szeged. The China Center would carry out such functions as education, innovation and international relations. For instance, one if its main tasks are to recruit Chinese students; take part in organizing educational fairs and exhibitions; developing and supporting Chinese business cooperation between university faculties; last but not least, to organize exchange programs for professors and experts, and organize official trips for university delegations to China.

A Memorandum of Understanding about the additional role of SZTE Confucius Institute in the field of Hungarian-Chinese touristic, educational, cultural and human relations was signed by Mohr Richárd, director of SZTE Confucius Institute, and Mészáros Márta, Head of Department at the Commission Secretariat Responsible for the Coordination of Hungarian-Chinese Bilateral Relations.

Confucius Institute set up at University of Szeged in 2012 takes an active part in developing touristic relations. In addition Confucius Institute at University of Szeged wishes to strengthen its touristic relations, educational, cultural and its informative activities. The Hungarian Government supports the effort and engagement of SZTE Confucius Institute.

The guests of Agora could enjoy the Chinese tea ceremony which was introduced by one of the teachers of the Institute.

Why is the development of Hungarian – Chinese relations so important? This basic question was draw up by Mohr Richárd, moderator of Confucius Tea House.

“Those who want to be number one in economy or in the world must get in touch with China” – said Szijjártó Péter. The Foreign Minister talked about the success of the government’s opening to the east policy, and about the appearance of Chinese capital in Hungary. “In the heart of Europe, Hungary became a key figure in the extension of Chinese relations.” – said the Minister. He mentioned the Budapest – Beograd railway reconstruction as an example of nearly $ 3.5 billion Chinese capital as form of appearance in Hungary.

“If Chinese think of Europe, they should vision Hungary as a gate!” – strengthened the government’s main goal. There is a more increased competition in networking with China – reminded the Minister and highlighted: “Those who stay away from Chinese relations will lag behind!”

According to Ujhelyi István representative of the European Union and founding president of SZTE Confucius Institute, cooperation with China is a national economic and strategic question. For the forthcoming 50-100 years China will be an inevitable factor in the world – he emphasized. “We are Europe!” – said when he draw attention to the Hungarian-Chinese relations and to the predictable partnership.

“Economic decisions are based on profit in China too” – reminded us Szijjártó Péter when he said that work cannot be based only on mutual sympathy. According to Ujhelyi István’s thought, on the one hand we should find out our competitiveness, and on the other hand we shouldn’t forget the importance of regionalization. He listed a couple of examples in which Hungary is very good at, such as food industry, wine, light industry and tourism.

“Heart of Europe: Hungary.” According to Szijjártó Péter, it is important to draw the attention of Chinese people to the significance of Hungary’s geographical position. He let the audience in on a secret: they work on the project that the “silk road” starting from China should go through and set up a European logistic center in Hungary.

Ujhelyi István drew attention to the fact that Szeged serves as a bridge. He mentioned Naturtex Company as an example of revitalizing light industry in the area, because just before the Confucius Tea House the Naturtex Company and Chinese investors signed a cooperation treaty for 5 years in the presence of the Foreign Minister.

The EP-politician thinks that the Beograd – Budapest train line should go through in Szeged. The Foreign Minister did not take any direct promise, however, he bespoke that this line will serve as a truckage. However, they agreed about the reconstruction of Szeged – Szabadka – Baja railroad.

Both of the politicians agreed on the importance of Chinese tourism. The constant strengthening of Chinese economy comes with the increase of more people travelling abroad.

The role of University of Szeged, the ELI and the Knowledge Park was also highlighted by the politicians in sense of talking about the broadening of Chinese-Hungarian relations further. Szijjártó Péter Foreign Minister said: general negotiations are in progress about setting five international corporative investors – including Ericsson – to Szeged. He also agreed that Chinese students should learn Hungarian language with the direction of SZTE. Szeged and its area might get a role in touristic and agricultural cooperation as well in the future. Szijjártó Péter highlighted many times: he recommends Szeged by heart to the investors, because this city is the most international in Hungary which is due to foreign students, and to the innovative capacity of SZTE.

“More and more research and innovation development should be achieved in Hungary” – this objective was set by the Hungarian government in 2014. Both political parties share the same interest – said both Szijjártó Péter and Ujhelyi István.

The program og Confucius Tea House was more colorgul thanks to the music performance of Gárdián Gábor and Győrfi Péter.