Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Europeans can’t decide how far to back away from Beijing

By Cindy Yu

24 Jul 2023 · 11 min read

informed Summary

  1. The article explores Europe's complex relationship with China, showcasing divisions among European nations on their stance towards Beijing.

Hungary has long been Europe’s black sheep. Liberals wring their hands at Budapest’s rolling back of press freedom, the dishing out of government contracts to aspiring autocrat Viktor Orban’s friends and family, and Orban’s unsettling closeness to leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

So it came as little surprise that at the recent summer conference of the World Economic Forum, held in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto sounded more aligned with Beijing than with his European peers. “Political leaders in Europe … are interested in so-called decoupling or de-risking. Which, to be honest, according to our understanding, would be a brutal suicide.”

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content