Under an intergovernmental cultural agreement signed in Budapest on Thursday Hungary will open a cultural center in Beijing and China will open one in Budapest.
The accord was signed by Hungary's Peter Szijjarto, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations within the Prime Minister's Office and by China's Ambassador to Hungary Xiao Qian.
Addressing a news conference, Szijjarto noted that Hungary was the first of the Central European EU members to open a cultural center in Beijing. He also said that the cultural institute would be an effective tool in promoting ties between the two countries and voiced the hope that Hungary could become a priority partner for China within the near future.
Personal friendships were the surest way to enhance ties, Szijjarto added, pointing to culture and education as the best road to such ties.
Xiao Qian pointed to the steady expansion of ties between China and Hungaryin all areas including economics, trade, culture, research, science and investments. These ties have now become better than ever, he added. Agreeing that personal ties were important in building a relationship between two countries, he noted that the works of Hungarian poet Sandor Petifi were included in the curriculum of Chinese elementary schools and that the Kodaly Method of music instruction, designed by Hungarian composer and musicologist Zoltan Kodaly, was used in Chinese music education.
Responding to the announcement that a new edition of a Chinese-Hungarian and Hungarian-Chinese dictionary was published in Hungary, Szijjarto said that it would not only be a boon to the roughly 3,000 Hungarians currently studying Chinese but also to the Chinese community currently living in Hungary. Xiao Qian said that the dictionaries will help the Chineses people living in Hungary better understand Hungary, and its culture and history.