China's Xi leaves Hungary as he concludes a 5-day visit to Europe

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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping left Hungary on Friday, concluding a tour of three European nations meant to meant to reinforce China's growing influence on the continent.

Xi's plane took off from Budapest airport on Friday evening, after five days in Europe that began with a visit to France and then Serbia.

Earlier on Friday, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on the social platform X that Xi had concluded his three-day state visit to Hungary, the last stop on his Europe visit, hailing the development of the two nations' “strategic partnership.”

During the visit, Hungary and China signed a number of new agreements on deepening their economic and cultural cooperation. During a news conference on Thursday, Orbán praised the “continuous, uninterrupted friendship” between the two countries since his tenure began in 2010, and promised that Hungary would continue to host further Chinese investments.

Xi began his visit with a meeting earlier in the week with French President Emmanuel Macron. Their talks focused on trade disputes — including lifting tariff threats on Cognac exports — and Ukraine-related diplomatic efforts.

He next went to European Union candidate Serbia, where the two nations signed an agreement to build a “shared future.”