Budapest defies Orbán and China due to the arrival of university

Budapest City Council has renamed four streets of the city in protest against human rights violations in China. Theyre in a neighborhood of a place where a Chinese university is to rise in three years.

The streets have been renamed Dalai Lamastraat, Uyghur Martyrs Street, Free Hong Kong street and the Bishop Xie Shiguang street. This last street is named after a deceased bishop of the underground Roman Catholic Church in China.

Values

The arrival of the university is contrary to the values which Hungary has committed itself to following the fall of communism, said Mayor Karácsony yesterday. He is a member of the opposition and wants to stand up against Conservative Prime Minister Orbán in elections next year.

The liberal opposition in Hungary accuses Orbán for strengthening ties with non-democratic countries such as Russia and China and restricting the independence of justice and media in its own country.

Reaction China

China says that Budapest seizes the arrival of the university to act against Chinese-Hungarian cooperation. This is despicable, says the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It denies that China violates human rights.

The new university accommodates 6000 students. It is a branch of Fudan University in Shanghai, which is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

In 2019, the liberal Central European University felt forced by new legislation to leave Hungary and settle in Vienna. Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that the new law is contrary to European law. Hungary was instructed to amend the law.

Railroad

The Orbán Government has strengthened its links with China in several areas. For example, it accepted a loan of EUR 1.65 billion to modernise the railway line from Budapest to Belgrade.

Hungary and Chinese coronavaccin have also accepted, which is still waiting for approval in the EU.