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Left-wing Budapest city leaders oppose Chinese University

June 4th, 2021

A left-wing commentator describes the plan to set up a Chinese university in Budapest as an expression of Chinese expansionist policies, while a China expert warns against offending China.

In a gesture of protest against the planned Fudan University campus in Budapest, the Mayor of the 9th district and the Mayor of Budapest inaugurated four new street signs in the district, namely “Free Hong-Kong, the Dalai Lama, Bishop Xie Shiguang (the head of an underground Roman Catholic community, much persecuted by the Chinese Communist authorities, who died in 2005) and the Uyghur Martyrs”. The four streets are in the exact area where Fudan University will be built by the mid 2020s.

In Népszava, Miklós Hargitai writes that the Chinese vaccine, the Chinese university, the Budapest-Belgrade highspeed railway, as well as Chinese credit to finance the latter two projects are ‘instruments of influence and annexation’. He also condemns the government for awarding the Cross of Merit to the Chinese Foreign Minister, a gesture he interprets as a sign of allegiance to a Communist power.

In Blikk, Gergely Salát, a well-known China policy expert suggests that such gestures will be interpreted in Beijing as directed against China as a whole rather than against the Communist government. He explains that 1.4 billion Chinese identify Uyghurs with acts of terror and know nothing about the Catholic bishop who spent 28 years in jail. All in all, he suggests, it doesn’t augur well for a potential Prime Minister (Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony) to start his career by offending China. The Chinese may condone insults for tactical reasons but will not forget them, he warns.

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