The mayor of Hungary’s capital says the city will rename streets near the location of a planned Chinese university to raise awareness about Beijing’s human rights abuses.
Gergely Karacsony told reporters that Budapest will name a street after “Uyghur Martyrs’ Road” after the Muslim ethnic group reportedly facing genocide in the Chinese territory of Xinjiang.
Another street will be renamed to “Free Hong Kong Road” to support the struggle of pro-democracy activists in the semi-autonomous city, where new curbs have been enforced to quell dissent.
The mayor noted that a street will be named after the Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of Tibet who has been labelled a separatist by Beijing.
A fourth street will be renamed after a Catholic bishop who was jailed by Chinese authorities.
These streets will intersect at an area where China is planning to open a campus of Fudan University, offering programs in medicine, liberal arts, business and engineering for 6,000 students and 500 faculty members.
“This Fudan project would put in doubt many of the values that Hungary committed itself to 30 years ago”, said Karacsony, referring to the fall of Communism in the country.
He noted that the Chinese university will cost Hungarian taxpayers nearly $2 billion.
The government has defended the project, referring to the presence of Fudan University as an opportunity to “learn from the best in the world”.
According to an opinion poll by liberal think tank Republikon Institute published on Tuesday, 66% of Hungarians oppose and 27% support the idea of the campus.
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