By Konrad Rękas
Global Research, September 04, 2022
The American colonies have not stopped criticising the Hungarians for their rational approach to the war in Ukraine and yet another reason for an anti-Magyar hate campaign appears. As a predictable country, not adventurous and going on about own business, Hungary becomes leading European centre of cooperation with China.
China’s necessity for Europe
Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL), China’s largest producer of electric car batteries recently announced that it will locate its main European plant in Hungary. The investment value is estimated at EUR 7.34 billion, but its importance is primarily strategic. China is a leader in renewable energy technologies (RE), thanks to its dominant position on the rare earth elements (REE) market and the largest share in the production of components for i.a. advanced magnetic wind turbines and car batteries.
One can notice the importance of REE: examples of the embargo imposed by China on REE export to Japan in 2010, the Sino-American conflicts caused by subsidising solar panels production in 2012/2013, dispute about subsidies for the wind turbines producers, and previous controversies about customs tariffs for REE within China-USA and China-EU trade relations.
There is also the threat of supply shocks of REE used in the production of hybrid electric vehicles and some types of wind turbines, caused by assumed increase in demand on neodymium (forecasted 7% increase) and dysprosium (even 2600% increase!) in the next 25 years. Demand for lithium used in battery cells is expected to grow at 674% by 2030.
This makes Beijing an absolutely indispensable partner for energy transformation in the Western Europe, covered by the ‘Climate Change’ pretext. The pandemic turmoil, as well as the recent anxiety caused by the Taiwanese crisis, make European-Chinese relations extremely fragile. Another slowdown or disruption of the global supply chain would not only blow up the entire Western energy transition but would also hit the consumer model of capitalism at the time when nations are not yet ready to reject it immediately.
In this context, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as well as direct Chinese investments on the European side of Eurasia, constitute a potential emergency solution and Beijing’s indication of future regional centres of power. And Budapest wants to take advantage of it.
Realism favours investments
Hungarians were the first in Europe to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese on joint ventures within the RDI. As a result, only in 2021 bilateral trade increased by 34.5%. China has become Hungary’s third in general and largest non-EU trade partner. In May 2021 was commissioned Hungary’s largest 100 MW solar power plant, CMC Kaposvar Solar PV Park, built by China National Machinery Import & Export. In June 2022, the first European factory of the LENOVO concern was opened in Budapest, hiring over 1,000 local employees.
As it is typical for the Chinese politics, these are calm, even slow and non-ostentatious operations, but clearly determined to increase own presence and soft influence. Another example is growing flow of Chinese students sent to Hungary. Of course, 2,700 of them on the Hungarian universities that is still not a number much compared to the crowds studying in developed countries of the West, but it clearly indicates the leader of Chinese interest in Central Europe. The Hungarians themselves also see the partnership with Beijing as promising, and despite attempts to shake the mood during the COVID (“Chinese pandemic”) period, 51 percent of respondents are optimistic about Chinese activity in their country.
Globalists and Imperialists
Of course, Hungarian profits achieved thanks to good relations with China constitute “annoyance” for:
- the liberal-globalist, precisely or not, but personified by Hungarians in George Soros,
- and the Anglo-Saxon military-industrial complex, aimed at eliminating the Chinese threat even with a global war.
So, from the one side there are standard voices of condemnation that Budapest hesitates “numerous violations of human rights in China, while the Americans keep pointing out the Hungarian “Trojan horse”, still in hope that it is possible to discipline Victor Orbán.
The Carnegie Endwoment for International Peace, one of the significant globalist think-tanks recommends:
“The United States should not shy away from pushing the EU and key member states (especially Germany, which is Hungary’s most important trading partner) to impose greater pressure on Orbán, including the potential use of sanction mechanisms against officials and businessmen engaged in local corruption schemes involving China. Brussels should consider applying the EU’s rule of law conditionality regime”.
Washington officially recognises that Chinese progress in Europe is not yet very dangerous and the Sino-Hungarian relations are not overwhelming in absolute numbers, but at the same time they urge that this is the best or even the very last moment to blackmail the Hungarian prime minister.
Budapest would be faced with a threat of complete cut-off from European financing in case of further cooperation with Beijing. Well, typical friendly manner within Euro-Atlantic, ‘democratic and liberal alliances’…
The New Global Game of Thrones and how to earn on it
Then, the most important question for Eastern Europe is whether Western European funds and Anglo-Saxon diplomatic-military supervision could be replaced by Chinese loans and direct investments, like in Africa and South America.
That is also the Globalists’ and Atlantists’ most horrifying nightmare. Russia’s attractiveness for Europe is limited to its position of energy supplier what should be dealt with by the Western ‘Climate strategy’. However, China, with its capital surplus and dominant industrial position, is a viable alternative to the financial capitalism New World Order. The competition of global centres will therefore accelerate and the wise, even small ones, will be able to earn on it.
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Konrad Rękas is a renowned geopolitical analyst and a regular contributor to Global Research.
Featured image: China’s rare earths (Source: asiafinancial.com)
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Konrad Rękas, Global Research, 2022