Hungary's prime minister says Central European countries, the "motors of European growth," should establish a "strategic partnership" with China to expand economic ties.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday repeated his disdain for the West's "democracy export," saying "we have to understand each other without having the need for the other to change themselves." He said that Hungary respects China's political system and will not accept any limits to the relationship.

Orban, speaking at a conference about relations with China, said that what is good for China and Central Europe is also good for all of Europe.

Orban also met with Liu Yunshan, a member of the Chinese Politburo Standing Committee, the top leadership of China's Communist Party.

Beijing is helping finance the renovation of the Budapest-Belgrade rail line.