Hungarians are fighting back against the country’s growing alliances with the East. Thousands gathered in Budapest on Saturday to protest against the controversial establishment of a Chinese university branch in the city. But in a country where a lack of transparency is the norm, deep-seated public hostility is unlikely to be enough to stop the project in its tracks.
The planned construction of a Budapest branch of Shanghai’s Fudan University is being seen as the latest step in Hungary’s geopolitical shift to the East, and a particularly egregious example of the opaque governing style of Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party.
The Hungarian government estimates construction of the new campus will cost €1.5bn, funded through a Chinese loan. Eyebrows were raised about the size of the investment, and its planned location on a site previously earmarked for affordable student housing.
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