He did this in protest of the fact that the elite Chinese University of Fudan will operate in the capital of Hungary from 2024, and thus should become the first Chinese university in Europe. Karácsony belongs to the liberal opposition and fundamentally disagrees with the construction of the Chinese University. “We still hope that this project will not be implemented,” the mayor said.
Karacconi noted that according to the original plans, a new neighborhood with apartments for young families and students will be built in the same place. Therefore, the mayor proposes a local referendum on the subject of the Chinese university.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government will take a 1.3 billion euro (33.1 billion kroner) loan from Beijing to build the university. In this context, direkt36.hu indicated that the university campus should be built by the Chinese State Civil Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), which is suspected of espionage and corruption in several countries. “More funds will be allocated to the project compared to 2019 for the entire Hungarian higher education system,” the website said, adding that the campus will be built by Chinese workers from Chinese building materials.
Similarly, the Chinese loan also finances, for example, the modernization of the railway line between Budapest and Belgrade for 2 billion euros (51.8 billion kroner). Information about this project was kept secret by the Orban government for ten years.
Shanghai-based Fudan University is under direct state control and recently removed the provision on freedom of thought from the statute and replaced it with a sentence on the leadership of the Communist Party. According to direkt36.hu, the university cooperates with Chinese intelligence services, runs its own spy school and up to a quarter of students and teachers are Communist Party members.
Hungarian opposition MPs have called for the formation of a parliamentary security committee in connection with the project, warning that Fudan University could pose a security risk to Hungary, the European Union and NATO.