BRI contributes to world's economic wellbeing, security, says Hungarian expert

by Xinhua writers Ma Zheng, Han Bing, Liu Yang

BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China 10 years ago contributes to the economic wellbeing and security of the world by bringing nations closer, said Gladden John Pappin, president of the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs.

European countries ought to view China as an "opportunity" not a "threat," said Pappin during an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the 8th China Global Think Tank Innovation Forum held in Beijing recently, adding that's "the baseline of European interaction with China."

"The model put forward by the BRI has been an excellent one oriented toward the building of infrastructure, soft connectivity and people-to-people connectivity, and that's something desperately needed throughout the world," he said.

As the first European country to sign a BRI cooperation agreement with China, Hungary's economic ties with China have prospered in recent years.

"The BRI is something that everyone should take advantage of, and European leaders should be more proud to be a part of it," he said.

The expert dismissed the term of "de-risking" coined by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a China policy speech in March.

"As Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said, the real risk is de-risking. The more things are cut off economically, the more likelihood there is for misunderstanding and for an increase in poverty and economic decline," he said.

Stressing that the world has become economically interconnected over the past years, Pappin said, "It's just a fact. Any attempt to pull back from that is going to cause a lot of pain and suffering."

Hungary "can't afford to give up its connectivity with the rest of the world," as it wants to have a good relationship with both the West and the East, said Pappin. Enditem

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