China defends Hungary university plan following protest

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BEIJING (AP) — China is defending a plan to build a university in Hungary, saying critics who protested against it in Budapest shouldn’t politicize and stigmatize normal exchanges between the two countries. Several thousand people rallied in Hungary’s capital on Saturday against an agreement with Shanghai-based Fudan University to open a branch in the city, citing the cost and links with China’s authoritarian ruling Communist Party. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson says the plan is an important platform for people-to-people exchanges and is in the interests of all parties. The $1.9 billion project is backed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a right-wing populist who has fostered closer ties with Russia and China.  

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