by Anita Komuves
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Thousands of Hungarians. Some people held placards proclaiming “rebellion” on Saturday. Against plans by Chinese universities to open campuses in Budapest
Prime Minister Victor Orban’s anti-liberals have accused him of being close to China. and fear that universities will degrade the quality of higher education and help Beijing increase its influence in Hungary and the European Union.
“I disagree with strengthening feudal ties with China,” said 22-year-old student Patrick, who declined to give his full name. said at a protest in the Hungarian capital
He said capital should be used. “To improve our own university instead of building a Chinese university”;
The government signed an agreement with Fudan University in Shanghai in April. To build a campus at a Budapest location where a dormitory village for Hungarian students was previously planned.
The government has said that Fudan is a global institution and the campus will “Allow students to learn from the best”
The MTI news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Tamas Chanda as saying. It said Saturday’s protests were unnecessary. and ignore “Political hysteria” due to gossip and baseless media reports.
Opposition politicians and economists have criticized what they say will be the project’s high cost and lack of transparency. Budapest’s mayor opposes the plan.
“Fidesz is selling all of their Hungarian student dormitories and their futures wholesale. Only to be able to bring China’s top dictatorship university into the country,” organizers of Saturday’s protest said on Facebook.
Beijing said this week “A few Hungarian politicians” are trying to draw attention and hinder cooperation between China and Hungary.
Orban has forged good ties with China, Russia and other liberal governments while befriending Western allies by limiting the autonomy of scientific research, the judiciary and the media.
He faces unified opposition for the first time since taking office in 2010, ahead of parliamentary elections in 2022.
(Edited by Timothy Heritage)