The Budapest city council opposes plans to build a “Chinese elite university campus” in place of a students’ quarter in the capital’s 9th district, Gergely Karácsony, the city’s mayor, said on Facebook on Thursday.
Karácsony reacted to remarks by the prime minister’s chief of staff criticising the city’s leadership for suggesting that setting up a campus for China’s Fudan University was in conflict with plans to build the students’ quarter.
Gergely Gulyás told a government press briefing that one of the “elite universities of the world” locating a branch in Hungary would “give meaning” to the student quarter scheme.
“If the government still decides to go back on the existing agreement on this project, and it becomes clear once again that the prime minister’s spoken word isn’t worth a dime, then that will also affect the construction of the stadium that is important to the government,” Karácsony said.
The mayor slammed the government position that “building an elite university campus serving the principles and influence of the Chinese Communist Party” in the place of the planned students’ quarter “would make housing cheaper for Hungarian students”.
“Providing cheap housing for Hungarian students is far more important than providing subservient assistance to China’s quest for influence using taxpayer money,” Karácsony said.