Hungarian Minister of Foreign affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto speaks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
"With this decision, the EU wants to divert the attention from the real problem, from the common purchase of vaccines, which was poorly handled," Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said while commenting on EU's decision to put sanctions on Chinese individuals and entity.
BUDAPEST, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) sanctions against individuals and entities in China and Myanmar are "pointless" and "harmful," Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.
The EU imposed unilateral sanctions on relevant Chinese individuals and entity on Monday, citing the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang.
"Hungary considers it pointless, self-promoting and harmful" that the EU has imposed sanctions on persons and entities in China and Myanmar, Szijjarto said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
"The sanctions are even more so harmful that they include Chinese nationals," Szijjarto said in a video clip posted on his Facebook account.
Such a decision was especially meaningless at a time when the importance of international cooperation was growing tremendously, when lives should be saved instead of taking sanctioning measures, according to the top Hungarian diplomat.
A woman walks past the European Commission headquarters at the European Quarter in Brussels, Belgium, July 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)
"With this decision, the EU wants to divert the attention from the real problem, from the common purchase of vaccines, which was poorly handled," he said, noting the sanctions will only be good to "divert the attention from the mismanaged vaccine acquisition of the EU, which can be measured in human lives and in the damage within Europe's economy."
In a press statement of the ministry, Szijjarto was cited as saying that the EU's sanctions were extremely damaging, as they would continue to "poison EU-China cooperation."
"If the cooperation (with China) could be put on the ground of rationality, the EU could seriously benefit from it," Szijjarto said.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday that the EU's move, based on nothing but lies and disinformation, disregards and distorts facts, grossly interferes in China's internal affairs, flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely undermines China-EU relations.
"China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this," said the spokesperson, adding that the Chinese government is firmly determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.
China decided on Monday to sanction 10 individuals and four entities on the EU side that severely harm China's sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and disinformation, said the spokesperson.■