Dániel Bartha to Martens Centre on the V4-China relations’ future

Dániel Bartha shares his opinions last time as executive director of CEID to Martens Centre on the Hungarian unilateral border closure and a possible new V4 approach toward China.

Mr. Bartha underlined how rushed the Hungarian government’s decision was to close the borders in order to make the action ‘highly visible’. “The decision to keep V4 relations unchanged was based on political considerations and the experience from the spring when these countries had much lower numbers. Later, the decision was corrected, but it shed light on some dysfunctionality in decision-making.” He added that he wouldn’t consider this an anti-EU move, “although the EU should be criticised for not using the summer period to further harmonise the decision-making process regarding the closure”.

As far as the V4-China relations are concerned, “Hungary will be the last country to join the V4 on this issue, but if it is necessary, it will show solidarity with Czechia.” The Orbán government is still convinced that having good relations with China and keeping the country in the Euro-Atlantic sphere is possible simultaneously. Though this is not sustainable forever, “it’s important to understand that economic interests are the only aspect which the government considers.”

“I believe Chinese and Czech relations are poisoned, and we have passed the point of return for good relations. It is now a matter of time before Slovakia will join Czechia on this issue. Due to its geopolitical interests, Poland will support the US position on China, which will soon leave Hungary alone on this issue within the V4.”

Dániel Varga