China deepens Balkans ties using Serbian universities
A strategic agreement signed between Hungary and Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University in April made international headlines and sparked a backlash at home. The decision to build a Budapest campus by 2024 using a US$1.5 billion loan from a Chinese bank put a spotlight on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s close ties to Beijing and raised concerns about the long-term impact of such a project on the country’s higher education system.
But in Serbia – where Beijing enjoys a close relationship with President Aleksandar Vucic and has been steadily deepening its ties over the last two decades – growing cooperation with Chinese universities and schools continues unabated. Currently, three Serbian universities – the University of Belgrade, the University of Novi Sad, and the University of Nis – have signed a cooperation agreement with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, opening the door to deepening educational and cultural bonds between Serbia and China.
Full report on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty site