Xi Jinping to visit Budapest in May

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Chinese president to go on European diplomatic tour

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to go on a diplomatic tour across multiple European countries in May, Radio Free Europe reported. The tour includes a stopover in Belgrade before he arrives in Budapest.

It is not Xi Jinping's first visit to Hungary, he paid a four-day official visit to Budapest in October 2009. During this earlier visit, he held the title of Vice President of the People's Republic of China. He was warmly welcomed by President László Sólyom and Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, leading to the signing of 15 bilateral agreements between the two nations.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's went to Beijing in December 2014 that coincided with the announcement of the Belgrade-Budapest double-track railway project. This move saw Hungary's alignment with the One Belt. Orbán's meeting with Xi Jinping in ]last year, during the third international forum of the Belt and Road initiative in Beijing, underscored Hungary's continued strong ties to China. Orbán stood as the sole representative from the European Union at this gathering, showcasing Hungary's diplomatic ambition of connecting the East and the West.

The European Commission considers Chinese police stations in the EU unacceptable 

The European Commission considers it unacceptable that Beijing is expanding its activities into Member States through the operation of Chinese police stations, said EU Commissioner Margaritis Schinas during the European Parliament plenary session in Brussels. Speaking at the EP debate on the activities of Chinese police in Europe, the commissioner stressed that the EU is concerned about the presence of Chinese police officers in several EU member states. The Hungarian government announced in March that Chinese police officers would soon be allowed to patrol Hungary. 

"The European Commission condemns all forms of external influence in EU member states, whether by states or economic operators," Schinas said. He added that the EU-China relationship has always been characterised by peace and security, a rules-based world order and a balanced a trade relationship. The current economic and geopolitical situation requires the EU and China to communicate openly on the growing number of issues such as human rights violations, trade imbalances and external interference.

Orban adjacent college's luxury spending revealed

Mathias Corvinus Collegium, winter camp has recentley undergone a lavish transformation, investigative outlet Direkt 36 reported. 2023 MCC campers found themselves whisked away to Ótátrafüred, Slovakia, where luxury became the norm.  Skiing, visits to an "ice-church" or a whisky distillery were also part of the program. They stayed at the four-star Grand Hotel Bellevue, that has indoor swimming pools, spas, and even a nightclub – all exclusively rented for the occasion.

While winter trips are not uncommon in higher education, however Mathias Corvinus Collegium's excursion stood out, not only for its lavishness but also for its funding. Unlike other institutions where students often foot their own bills, MCC's camp is funded largerly by taxpayers' money. Participants in MCC's foreign scholarship program enjoy monthly stipends ranging from €3,000 to €5,000.

MCC splurged about €1.5 million on catering alone, with Apriori Cultura Nonprofit Zrt., closely linked to MCC's director general and Fidesz affiliates, consistently landing  contracts. MCC frequently invites high-profile guests from abroad, such as like Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reportedly receiving €7000 for just two hours of panel discussions.

Orban's latest challenger, Peter Magyar organizes large demosntration in Budapest

In one of the largesst protests in years, tens of thousands of Hungarians flooded the streets on Saturday, rallying against the Orban government organized by Péter Magyar, the PM's latest challenger.

Magyar, a former diplomat and lawyer, made headlines in February when he publicly severed ties with the government, setting his sights on challenging the dominance of  Orbán.Magyar, formerly married to Hungary's former justice minister judit Varga, is spearheading a fresh opposition movement, aiming to carve out a distinct path forward. 

In his speech, Magyar touched on the lack of autonomy within the country's media and prosecutor's office, and government corruption. He pledged to establish a new party poised to contest the upcoming European Parliament election in June.