ChinaSeptember 20 2022, 13:16 pm

GIOR Investigation Reveals More Evidence of Chinese Influence Operations in Hungary

A GIOR inves­ti­ga­tion reveals new evi­dence of Chi­nese influ­ence oper­a­tions in Hun­gary, reflect­ed in a recent­ly announced sem­i­nar. The Chi­na-CEE Insti­tute has announced a joint sem­i­nar to have been held on 8 Sep­tem­ber titled “Strength­en­ing Chi­na-EU Coop­er­a­tion in the Post-epi­dem­ic Era.” The Carnegie Endow­ment describes the Chi­na-CEE Insti­tute as “the first Chi­nese-spon­sored pol­i­cy research insti­tu­tion in the region:

The Chi­nese Acad­e­my of Social Sci­ences estab­lished the Chi­na-CEE Insti­tute in Budapest in 2017. The first Chi­nese-spon­sored pol­i­cy research insti­tu­tion in the region, its aim is to estab­lish link­ages with aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions across Cen­tral and East­ern Europe. It has a broad research man­date, cov­er­ing polit­i­cal, social, tech­nol­o­gy, eco­nom­ic, and gov­er­nance issues across the whole region, not just in Hun­gary. Many of its reports are authored by the same small group of Euro­pean schol­ars, with Chi­nese man­agers and edi­tors over­see­ing and financ­ing their work.

Accord­ing to the event announce­ment, the part­ner for the sem­i­nar was to be the Antall József Knowl­edge Cen­tre, a Hun­gar­i­an think tank. A Hun­gar­i­an web­site spe­cial­iz­ing in cor­rup­tion in Hun­gary reports on the ties between the Antall József Knowl­edge Cen­tre and the gov­ern­ment of Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orbán. Accord­ing to the direkt36 report:

It took a while for the younger son of the late Hun­gar­i­an prime min­is­ter József Antall, to find a sta­ble and well-pay­ing job. Born in 1964, Péter Antall worked as a press pho­tog­ra­ph­er dur­ing years of regime change three decades ago and obtained a uni­ver­si­ty degree only at the age of 40. He was unem­ployed for years, then got a job through his father’s par­ty, the Hun­gar­i­an Demo­c­ra­t­ic Forum (MDF), first at the sec­re­tari­at of a min­is­ter, then at the MDF par­ty foun­da­tion. Dur­ing the last decade, how­ev­er, his life has turned around. He has been run­ning a think tank called Antall József Knowl­edge Cen­tre (AJKC), a foun­da­tion sup­port­ed finan­cial­ly by the gov­ern­ment of Vik­tor Orbán. So far, AJKC has been award­ed more than 4 bn HUF (almost 12 mn EUR) of tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey. Direkt36 obtained hun­dreds of inter­nal doc­u­ments on the spend­ing of the Knowl­edge Cen­ter, and we con­duct­ed inter­views with ten sources famil­iar with the oper­a­tion of the orga­ni­za­tion. Our key find­ings include:

Read the rest here.

In August 2022, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed on a study on Chi­nese influ­ence in Hun­gary, which said that Chi­na plays a “sys­tem-sup­port­ing and sys­tem-legit­imiz­ing role.” The study argued that Chi­nese “cor­ro­sive cap­i­tal” pro­vides lucra­tive busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties for Hun­gar­i­an prime min­is­ter Vic­tor Orbán’s clien­telist net­works and helps him por­tray Hun­gary as a key glob­al play­er. Also, in August, we report­ed on a new sur­vey that found Hun­gar­i­an vot­ers from the rul­ing Fidesz par­ty share over­whelm­ing­ly pos­i­tive views of Chi­na while oppo­si­tion vot­ers express pes­simism and concern.

In Feb­ru­ary, we pub­lished a GIOR report on the new and devel­op­ing alliance between US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean nation­al­ists,  a poten­tial means for Rus­sia to exert covert influ­ence in Europe and the US, using Hun­gary as a platform.






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