ChinaAugust 9 2022, 16:07 pm

New Survey Shows Increased Support In Hungary For Ties With China Among Hungarian Fidesz Voters

US media is report­ing that a new sur­vey has found Hun­gar­i­an vot­ers from the rul­ing Fidesz par­ty share over­whelm­ing­ly pos­i­tive views of Chi­na while oppo­si­tion vot­ers are express­ing pes­simism and con­cern. Accord­ing to an RFE/RL report:

July 24, 2022 Ever since Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban returned to pow­er in 2010, Budapest has built a clos­er rela­tion­ship with Bei­jing and opened the door for increased Chi­nese invest­ment and influ­ence inside the Cen­tral Euro­pean coun­try.  Despite sev­er­al scan­dals and con­tro­ver­sies dur­ing that span, a new poll shows that sup­port for Chi­na is grow­ing, with a major­i­ty of Hun­gar­i­an vot­ers say­ing they approve of ris­ing Chi­nese influ­ence in the coun­try. The sur­vey by the Budapest-based Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean Cen­ter for Asian Stud­ies (CEECAS) found that Chi­na gen­er­al­ly has a pos­i­tive image among the Hun­gar­i­an pub­lic and that most vot­ers in the coun­try share views on impor­tant polit­i­cal issues that are “favor­able to Chi­nese stand­points.” But the researchers also high­light­ed a strong polar­iza­tion when it came to for­eign pol­i­cy issues, with vot­ers from the rul­ing Fidesz par­ty shar­ing over­whelm­ing­ly pos­i­tive views of Chi­na and oppo­si­tion vot­ers express­ing pes­simism and concern.

Read the rest here and the full CEECAS sur­vey here.

The CEECAS sur­vey says that pos­i­tive views on Chi­nese pres­ence and influ­ence regard­ing key pub­lic dis­course issues were with­in the 50–60% range, and neg­a­tive views for the same ques­tions were with­in the 30–40% range. The sur­vey also says that rough­ly two-thirds of the sup­port­ers of the gov­ern­ing Fidesz coali­tion have over­all pos­i­tive per­cep­tions of Chi­na-relat­ed issues. The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report recent­ly report­ed that while Chi­nese invest­ments in Hun­gary remain small, Chi­nese “cor­ro­sive cap­i­tal” pro­vides lucra­tive busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties pri­mar­i­ly for Hun­gar­i­an prime min­is­ter Vic­tor Orbán’s clien­telist net­works, which includes many Fidesz par­ty members.

Prime Min­is­ter Orban is already well-known for his close rela­tion­ship with Rus­sia under Vladamir Putin and a US media report has described Orban as “the Russ­ian Pres­i­den­t’s clos­est friend inside the EU and NATO.” The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has exten­sive­ly cov­ered Orban’s role in the Nation­al Con­ser­vatism Alliance, a poten­tial oppor­tu­ni­ty for Russ­ian influence.

For more GIOR cov­er­age of Hun­gary, go here.


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