Chinese Fudan University to open campus in Budapest, raising security concerns
Hungary signed an agreement with Fudan University on April 27 to set up a campus in its capital, Budapest. It will be the only overseas campus of Fudan and another Chinese university to establish a campus in Europe, following Peking University in 2018 in the UK and Tongji University in Shanghai in Italy in 2014. However, the The joint initiative raised security concerns among Hungarian lawmakers.
The new campus is based on the BRI Investment model
According to “official government documents” obtained in April by Hungarian media Direkt36, the Hungarian government plans to work with a large Chinese construction company to build the new campus of Fudan University in Budapest. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024. Fudan University is based in Shanghai.
The investigative report claimed that the draft proposal for the Fudan campus project was co-authored by two Hungarian ministers – Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó . According to proposal, “Hungary would provide € 300 [million] [around $360 million] directly for investment, while 1.3 [billion] [around $1.56 billion] would be loaned by China ”and the National Development Bank of China has already submitted a preliminary financing proposal.
The proposal revealed that the project would use “a number” of building materials and labor from China and that Hungary would pay for this through a Chinese loan.
“The Chinese entrepreneur does not even have to fear that another bidder will beat them in open competition” because the “[d]Documents indicate that “the construction can only be carried out as an exclusively Chinese project”, “Direkt36 reported.
The documents also stated that the project was “based on the Budapest-Belgrade railway investment model”.
The Budapest-Belgrade railway is part of the China Belt & Road Initiative (BRI, also known as One Belt, One Road) project in Hungary. The railway connects Budapest to the Serbian capital Belgrade, with a total length of 22o miles (350 kilometers). The estimated investment for the project is $ 2.89 billion, with Beijing funding 85 percent of the project, according to Chinese news portal Sina. The railway is described by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as its “flagship project” for cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, according to state media Xinhua.
The mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, expressed strong opposition to the new campus of Fudan University, saying he is concerned about “our children’s indebtedness of more than 500 billion forints just for Hungary to serve the acquisition of Chinese influence in Europe,” according to a report published by Hungary Today on April 19.
“Various opposition politicians have already expressed concerns that Chinese State University will pose a risk to national security,” the report said.
The CCP controls all schools in China
Article 30 of the CPC Constitution stipulates: “A Party organization at the primary level must be formed in any enterprise, village committee, government body, school, research institute, sub-district and community, social organization, People’s Liberation Army company and any other danwei primary level [workplaces] where there are at least three full members of the Party. “
All Chinese schools, including elementary schools, colleges, and universities, have CCP establishments, depending on the number of Communist Party members. Chinese universities usually have a CCP committee, headed by a party secretary. And the school president must carry out the decisions of the party secretary.
In December 2019, Fudan University revised its charter, which sparked a debate among his students. In its new charter, “freedom of thought” was deleted of the preamble, and “academic independence” was placed after the new term “patriotic dedication”. Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s socialist ideologies have been added to the charter.
The amendment clearly highlights the “leadership of the Party Committee”, as the president of the university no longer has the right to exercise his authority independently.
CCP Uses Central and Eastern Europe As A ‘Springboard’ To Enter Western Europe
As early as 2012, the CPC launched the 16 + 1 cooperation, which is a joint cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries under the Belt and Road Initiative. Of these 16 countries, 11 are members of the European Union and 5 are non-EU countries, a significant proportion being former socialist countries.
Hungary was among the first EU countries to join 16 + 1 cooperation and the first European country to sign a BRI agreement with China in 2015. In 2017, bilateral trade between China and Hungary exceeded $ 10 billion, according to official Chinese data. Despite the EU’s criticism of the Chinese regime’s human rights record, Hungary has repeatedly defended the CCP.
The CCP has actively invested in Central and Eastern Europe. “From the Baltic States to the Balkans, Chinese companies, full of cash, are buying real estate and fighting over public infrastructure contracts,” as noted The New York Times in a September 2010 report. “They are also investing in the manufacture of products such as electronics and chemicals to gain a foothold in the vast European single market,” the report says.
Ma Changlin, former Economic and Commercial Advisor at the Chinese Embassy in Poland, was city by The Times saying that the CCP “is interested in using the region as a stepping stone to the rest of the European Union.”
As of the end of June 2020, the CPC had invested $ 3.05 billion directly and more than $ 12 billion indirectly in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, according to official data published on the CPC website “Cooperation between China and the countries of central and eastern Europe ”.
Theft of CCP technology from UK universities
More and more Britons are aware of the serious infiltration of the Chinese regime in their country. British universities are a source of cutting edge technology for the PCC, including prestigious schools like Cambridge and Imperial College.
“About 500 Chinese military scientists have spent time at British universities over the past ten years, some of whom have worked on jets, supercomputers, missiles and thin film that could be used to disguise tanks,” Daily Mail revealed in a report dated October 28, 2019.
CHISA, a magazine governed by the Chinese Ministry of Education, openly acknowledged in its April 2019 issue that the CPC’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) sends three to eight students to Cambridge each year for research. doctoral studies.
Founded in 1953, NUDT is the first military engineering higher education institution in China. Its predecessor was the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Military Engineering Institute, and because it was located in Harbin, it was called “Harbin Military Engineering” for short. The cooperation between NUDT and the Cavendish laboratory at the University of Cambridge, best known for its research on quantum information, includes the production of “the next generation of supercomputers.” . . talents for China ”, Daily mail reported on July 17, 2020.
In February 2015, NUDT was added to entity list by the US Department of Commerce, because “NUDT used American origin multi-cores, boards and (co) processors to produce the TianHe-1A and TianHe-2 supercomputers located at the National High Computing Centers in Changsha, Guangzhou and Tianjin. The TianHe-1A and TianHe-2 supercomputers are believed to be used in nuclear explosive activities as described in § 744.2 (a) of the EAR ”, according to a ruler by the US Industry and Security Bureau on February 18, 2015.
A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) think tank noted that “[a]At least four of the 12 Chinese state-owned defense industry conglomerates (state-owned defense companies or state-owned defense companies) have a substantial presence in foreign universities. “
“These companies seek to increase their access to world-class training, expertise and technology through exchanges and joint laboratories with foreign universities,” ASPI wrote.
According to the report, UK universities involved include the University of Manchester, Imperial College London, University of Exeter, University of Birmingham, University of Strathclyde and University of Nottingham.
According to a 2020 Daily Mail report, Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow have collaborated with the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) and the University of Electronic Science and Technology (UEST), posing a “very high riskTo national security. The two Chinese educational institutions are deeply involved in the national defense of the Chinese regime, with HIT being one of the seven leading universities “With deep roots in the military and defense industry,” while the UEST with a Chinese military background, according to ASPI.
In October 2019, The Times published a report, revealing that GCHQ, the seat of the UK government responsible for communications, has issued a warning to UK universities “to put national security ahead of commercial interest as fears grow over state theft of research and of intellectual property on campus ”.
In another Times report from January 30, GCHQ again warned universities on ‘hostile state actors’ targeting UK institutions ‘to steal personal data, research data and intellectual property’ that could be used for their own ‘military, commercial and authoritarian interests’.
The UK announced earlier this year that it was tightening visas for Chinese students and researchers “amid concerns over intellectual property theft,” The Times reported in January.