A statue of Hungary’s 19th-century revolutionary poet Sándor Petőfi and his wife Júlia Szendrey has been erected in the southwestern Chinese megalopolis of Chongqing. The statue by sculptor Zsigmond Szórádi was gifted to the city’s central Yuzhong district by Hungary’s foreign ministry on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between Hungary and China.
The statue was unveiled on Friday by the prime minister’s advisor Géza Szőcs and Zhang Ling, vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Szőcs told MTI that the new statue was part of a strategy to boost Hungary’s image in western China, with the country already having established a political, economic and cultural presence in Beijing and China’s coastal cities. He noted the recent launch of Hungarian university programmes in Chongqing, Chengdu and Xi’an and the upcoming launch of a direct flight between Budapest and Chongqing. The statue’s inauguration therefore coincides with both the Hungarian government’s Eastern Opening policy and China’s Belt and Road initiative, he added.