Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto slammed major EU member states’ criticism of talks between China and Central and East European states regarding the Belt and Road Initiative.
The minister accused France and Germany of "hypocrisy", pointing out that they had no trouble negotiating the sale of 300 aircraft to China, which exceeds the volume of all trade between those EU members currently engaged in talks with Beijing and the Asian state.
"There is such a bad hypocrisy in the European Union when it comes to China. The 11 central and eastern European member states [...] represent 9.9% of EU trade with China. Nobody raises a question about how it is possible that [Germany and France] sell 300 aircraft to China, which is a bigger deal than the [entire] trade represented by the 11 central European countries", he said.
Separately, Szijjarto defended Hungary’s use of Chinese Huawei's technologies in the construction of its 5G networks, slamming the criticism from Western European states. The foreign minister pointed out that Huawei's tech had been licenced for use by the "biggest German and British telecommunications companies".
At the same time, media reports suggest, that the UK is going to allow Huawei in non-core systems of its 5G networks, despite the US pushing it to do otherwise. The reports haven't been confirmed yet, but media sources suggest that this could occur after US President Donald Trump's visit to London.
What is more, head of French telecom regulator ARCEP Sebastian Soriano stated that the country is planning to launch its 5G network, which uses Huawei equipment, on schedule, despite the US campaign targeting the Chinese tech giant. He noted, however, that ARCEP doesn't mind switching to other firms’ equipment if there is trouble with getting supplies from Huawei.
Washington has been threatening its European allies with a reduction in intelligence sharing if they use Huawei technologies in their 5G networks. The US claims that the Chinese company installs backdoors for Beijing to spy on users worldwide. Huawei denies these claims and has offered all willing states to sign a no-spy agreement with it in order to ensure networks' security.