Hungary to set up local campus for China's Fudan university
The document did not include details of how the construction project would be financed. Earlier this month Hungarian investigative website Direkt36 reported that the Fudan campus would be built with a Chinese loan of more than 450 billion forints ($1.5 billion).
Hungary's government signed an agreement with Shanghai-based Fudan University on Tuesday to set up a campus in Budapest for up to 6,000 students, opening the way for Fudan to establish a foothold in the European Union. The move is part of Hungary's "eastern opening" diplomacy, which includes forging close relations with China. China is building a major railway line connecting Budapest and Belgrade as part of Beijing's One Belt, One Road initiative aimed at opening new foreign markets to Chinese firms.
Hungary will provide land, an operational campus and other facilities to Fudan Hungary University through a trust foundation according to the agreement published on Tuesday. "The parties welcome that research institutes of Fudan Hungary University might contribute to attract numerous Chinese large enterprises to Hungary and as a result R&D centres may be established," the document said.
These could generate "significant development investments and thus substantial economic stimulation effects to the Hungarian economy," it said. The document did not include details of how the construction project would be financed.
Earlier this month Hungarian investigative website Direkt36 reported that the Fudan campus would be built with a Chinese loan of more than 450 billion forints ($1.5 billion). Hungary will also contribute 100 billion forints to the project, it said. The government declined comment on the financing in an email to Reuters. Hungary has frequently clashed with the EU over media freedoms and its migration policy, and in 2019 it forced a university founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros to move most of its activities from Budapest to Vienna.
Earlier on Tuesday Hungary passed legislation setting up foundations to take over the running of universities and cultural institutions in a move critics say extends the ideological imprint of the ruling right-wing government.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)