[Overview] Budapest is the capital and largest city of Hungary. It is the country's political, economic, and cultural center as well as its transportation hub. The city of Budapest was officially created in 1872 from a merger of three cities: Óbuda, Buda and Pest. Located in central and northern Hungary along the Danube River, it covers an area of 525 square kilometers and has a population of 1.759 million.
[Politics] In Budapest, the central government is responsible for managing affairs concerning urban planning, legislation, public transportation, housing, waste management, local taxation, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, etc. The Budapest Municipality is responsible for all city services, police and fire protection, enforcement of all national and municipal laws within the city, and administration of public assets and most public agencies. The governing bodies of Budapest include the General Assembly and the City Council (i.e., the city government). The General Assembly has 33 members, including the Mayor of Budapest, the mayors of the 23 districts, and nine representatives from the electoral lists of political parties. The term of office of General Assembly members is five years. The current Chairman of the General Assembly and Mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, was elected in October 2019.
[Economy] Budapest's pillar industries include pharmaceuticals and medical devices, software development, and electronics. The city has a well-developed service sector. In recent years, the service sector, accounting for 81% of the city's GDP, has overtaken the manufacturing sector to become the city's largest contributor to GDP.
[Culture and Education] Home to many world-class composers and orchestras, Budapest is one of the music centers in Europe. The Bela Bartok Memorial House and Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum are located in the city. Budapest has a well-developed education system. There are many colleges and universities in the city, including Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Corvinus University of Budapest, Semmelweis University, and Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music.
[Relations with Beijing] On June 16, 2005, Beijing and Budapest officially became sister cities. They have engaged in frequent exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, education, and tourism. In May 2015, the two cities signed the Memorandum of Cooperation in Culture and Art.
Culture: In June 2012, the new epic Peking Opera Red Cliff written by the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) was staged in Budapest. In January 2015, the Beijing Fine Art Academy and the Hungarian National Gallery jointly presented the exhibition – The Age of Munkácsy: Art in Hungary at the Turn of the Century. In May of the same year, the two institutions jointly opened the Qi Baishi Art International Research Center in Budapest, and presented the “Natural Fun – Qi Baishi's Works Collected by the Beijing Fine Art Academy” exhibition. In June 2018, Beijing held “When Hungary Meets China” cultural events in Budapest, including a concert and the Chinese Porcelain Exhibition.
Education: Beijing Foreign Studies University has worked together with universities in Budapest to open three Chinese language learning institutions in Budapest, including Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom. Beijing International Studies University has collaborated with Hungarian universities on Hungarian language teaching and teacher and student exchanges.
Tourism: Budapest was among the first batch of cities to join the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) established on the initiative of Beijing in 2012 and has since then actively participated in WTCF activities.