Hungarian PM Orbán Visits China Following Russia & Ukraine Trip

July 9, 2024

Hungarian PM Orbán Visits China Following Russia & Ukraine Trip

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán arrived in Beijing on October 8th. This visit follows his controversial trip to Russia, which drew “strong protests “from some EU countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Orbán and congratulated Hungary on assuming the rotating EU presidency. He emphasized that China and the EU have no geopolitical conflicts or fundamental clashes of interests. With 2024 marking the 50th anniversary of China-EU diplomatic relations, Xi expressed hope that Hungary, as the EU’s rotating president, would play a positive role in promoting the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations.

Orbán praised China as an important stabilizing force for world peace, expressing high appreciation for China’s role and influence. He advocated for strengthening cooperation with China and opposed the formation of “small circles” and camp confrontations.

The two leaders had in-depth communication on the Ukraine crisis, mainly the purpose of Orbán’s visit. Xi emphasized the importance of an early ceasefire and de-escalation and stated that China has been actively promoting peace talks.

Orbán later posted on X (formerly Twitter): “#China is a key power in creating the conditions for #peace in the #RussiaUkraineWar. This is why l came to meet with President Xi in Beijing, just two months after his official visit to Budapest. #HU24EU #peacemission”

Orbán’s visit to China, like his recent trips to Ukraine and Russia, was reportedly unannounced beforehand. His meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which lasted over three hours, had drawn criticism from the EU and NATO, who stated that his visit to Russia did not represent the EU.

After leaving Beijing, Orbán shared on Instagram that his “next stop” would be Washington.


Tanker Truck Contamination Raises Concerns Over Edible Oil Safety

A recent investigation by The Beijing News has revealed alarming practices in the transportation of bulk edible oils in China. The report highlights that many tanker trucks used for transporting edible liquids like syrup and soybean oil are also used to carry chemical liquids such as coal-derived oil without adequate cleaning.

A tanker truck that transported coal-derived oil from Ningdong Coal Chemical Industrial Park to Qinhuangdao, Hebei, subsequently loaded soybean oil at the Huifu Grain and Oil Group plant in Yanjiao Town without being cleaned.

Another tanker truck, after delivering coal-derived oil from Ningxia to Shijiazhuang, proceeded to load 35 tons of soybean oil at Sinograin Oils and Fats Industrial (Tianjin) Co., Ltd., again without cleaning the tank.

These practices potentially contaminate edible oils with harmful chemical residues, posing significant health risks to consumers. The investigation highlights a critical gap in food safety regulations, as there are currently no mandatory national standards for edible oil transportation in China. The existing guidelines, which recommend using dedicated vehicles for edible oil transport, are merely advisory and lack enforcement power.

In response to the exposé, Sinograin announced on July 6th that it had launched a comprehensive inspection of its oil operations. The incident has since gone viral on Chinese social media, sparking widespread concern about food safety.

The investigation revealed that sellers of bulk oil consider their responsibility for quality to end at the point of delivery. Contracts typically stipulate that buyers arrange their own transportation, absolving sellers of responsibility once the oil is loaded onto the buyer’s tankers. This stance, however, raises questions about accountability in the food supply chain.

Crucially, no convincing evidence or further report is revealing where these tankers went after loading the edible oil or who received these potentially contaminated shipments.

Local market regulators in Tianjin and Hebei’s Langfang city have stated that investigations are ongoing, with results to be announced to the public soon.


Breached dike at China’s second-largest freshwater lake sealed off

On July 8th at approximately 10:30 PM, the breach in the Dongting Lake frontline dike at Tuanzhou Polder in Huarong County, Hunan Province, was successfully sealed after nearly 77 hours of continuous efforts.

The crisis began on July 5th around 4 PM when a piping phenomenon occurred in the dike, leading to its collapse at 5:48 PM. The breach expanded to a maximum width of 226 meters.

Rescue forces from various sectors quickly mobilized. Firefighters, water conservancy experts, and specialized teams from China ANNENG Group worked tirelessly day and night. Armed police and civilian rescue teams also joined the efforts.

Full-scale sealing operations commenced on the afternoon of July 6th. Experts emphasized the urgency of the task, citing the approaching flood season and the potential for further flooding in the Dongting Lake area.

Dump trucks loaded with rocks and machinery formed long queues on the dike. Some materials were sourced from as far as 100 kilometers away, with neighboring Hubei Province providing about 12,200 cubic meters of rocks by the evening of July 7th.

Workers faced challenging conditions, including extreme heat and humidity. Bulldozer operators endured temperatures up to 40°C in their cabins, working in 20-minute shifts every hour.

Despite these difficulties, progress was swift. The breach was narrowed by two to three meters each hour as fifteen to sixteen dump trucks delivered materials.

Various teams, including hydrological monitoring staff and patrol boats, worked in coordination to ensure safety and monitor water levels.

Thanks to the collective efforts, the dike breach was successfully sealed at 10:31 PM on July 8th, a day ahead of schedule.

The next steps include reinforcing and heightening the dike to ensure its structural integrity and flood resistance. Simultaneously, efforts to drain the flooded areas and reduce water levels inside the polder have begun to minimize damage and help residents resume normal life as soon as possible.

Background: From June 16th to July 3rd, Hunan Province experienced its heaviest rainfall for that period since 1961. China Daily: Following the dike breach, a large volume of water from Dongting Lake rushed into the Tuanzhou dike region, flooding 47.6 square kilometers of the region’s total area of 55 sq km. At least 7,000 residents were evacuated after the dike burst.

Share This Post