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Istvan Ujhelyi, deputy speaker of the Hungarian Parliament, believes China and Europe need to "shake hands", as well as "hold hands" when faced with tragedies, and to lay a solid foundation for the "common future" of Europe-China relations among young people.
The director of Hungary-China relations of the Hungarian Socialist Party extended an invitation to 50 children from the quake-hit area of Sichuan province to visit Hungary this year.
Istvan Ujhelyi, deputy speaker of the Hungarian Parliament, calls the world’s attention to earthquake-hit Sichuan province. Xu Jingxing / China Daily
"Standing and mourning for one minute is not enough to help ... We will try to help them forget the unforgettable," Ujhelyi told the China-Europe Young Leaders' Dialogue during the Fourth China-Europe High-Level Political Parties Forum in Suzhou, Jiangsu province.
The China-Europe Young Leaders' Dialogue is held during the Fourth China-Europe High-Level Political Parties Forum in Suzhou, Jiangsu province on April 23, 2013. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/chinadaily.com.cn]
On Saturday, a magnitude-7 earthquake hit Sichuan. More than 12,000 have been injured and 193 people are dead.
Ujhelyi also invited youngsters to visit Hungary after the deadly earthquakes in Wenchuan, Sichuan, in 2008, and Yushu, Qinghai province, in 2010.
The visits were "useful", he said. "They can make new friends in Hungary, open their eyes and hearts, and know more about our history and culture."
He also urged other European countries and organizations to launch similar programs, saying the only solution to improve mutual understanding between the two sides is "to start learning about each other and understanding each other.
"We know some clever sentences from Chinese philosophy, but we do not understand their connection with Chinese Communist Party theory. We can see China developing, but we do not remember the 200 years' suffering of the Chinese people. We know the words ‘reform and development', but we do not understand the real achievements of Deng Xiaoping's political insight," he said.
Meanwhile, speaking of the China Dream advocated by President Xi Jinping, he said, it "can only be successful if it also becomes the dream of the world. To have a common dream, we have to understand each other; we have to live in harmony".
Calling himself "a diligent student of China", Ujhelyi has been studying China for eight years, traveled a lot in China, and founded a Confucius Institute at the University of Szeged in Hungary last year.
"After only one year, we have 400 Hungarian students studying Chinese and Chinese culture, established direct contacts with 10 Chinese universities, and are organizing more and more educational and cultural programs," he said.
His wife and two children also have Chinese lessons every week, he added.
"I would like to be a bridge between China and Hungary," he said, adding that "Europe has to know we really need close connection with China, Chinese political parties, Chinese people and companies.
"China is different from the old empires. China does not want to conquer or command the world, but wants to cooperate and seeks win-win situations," he said.
"I think less than 20 years later, the European and Chinese people will know more about each other. We will be more successful. That's why I am doing this job," he added.