Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Chinese investor blasts Iceland rejection
by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Nov 29, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

A Chinese billionaire whose bid to build an eco-resort in Iceland was rejected says security concerns about his project were unfair and misplaced.

Huang Nubo's plans to buy a 115-square-mile tourist farm in northeastern Iceland and turn it into a high-end resort featuring hot-air balloon rides and a golf course were rejected Friday by Iceland Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson, who cited the country's laws on foreign investment.

He also said the sale of such a large area of land -- fully 0.3 percent of the country's landmass -- to foreigners was unprecedented and represented a possible threat to the Iceland's independence and sovereignty.

But Huang, chairman of the Zhongkun Investment Group, said Sunday the rejection smacked of anti-Chinese prejudice while some reports indicated Icelandic officials were concerned about the geopolitical implications of allowing a Chinese foothold near its Arctic deep-water ports.

"The denial reflects the unjust and parochial investment environment facing private Chinese enterprises abroad," Huang told the English-language China Daily newspaper.

In the interview, he pointed a finger at Western countries for employing "double standards," asserted that while they are eager to "encourage the opening of the Chinese market," they "close their doors to Chinese investments."

He urged fellow Chinese entrepreneurs to think twice before investing in Europe or risk being caught up in political fights they not have anticipated.

Bao Yunjun, chairman of the Private Economy Research Association at Zhejiang University, told the newspaper the rejection of the planned $200 million project is evidence of a lingering Cold War mentality that maintains "investment from private Chinese entrepreneurs is a threat to national safety."

Iceland's foreign ministry initially welcomed Huang's announcement of a major investment in the debt-strapped country, saying it would be a boon to tourism and could serve a link between the Vatnajokull and Jokulsargljufur national parks in the glacial and mountainous northeast region.

Huang's reputation as a poet and world traveler -- he climbed Mount Everest -- also proved attractive.

But critics also noted his close ties to the Chinese Communist Party, having worked as a minister in the Chinese Central Propaganda Department and Ministry of Construction, the BBC reported.

His bid ran into trouble when he applied for an exemption from laws barring non-EU nationals from buying land. Jonasson rejected that request last week.

A statement on the Interior Ministry's Web site cited laws requiring that companies purchasing real estate have headquarters within Iceland and that the majority owners be Icelandic citizens.

While the ministry has the power to grant exemptions from the requirements, Jonasson said he chose not to do so because "it is impossible to ignore how large an area of land … is involved in the purchasing plans of the company, and there is no precedent for such a large area of Icelandic land to have been placed under foreign control."

To make an exception to the law in Huang's case would set a "dangerous precedent," he told the Financial Times, adding he was troubled by the "fire sale" character of the transaction.

"When a nation is in distress and its currency is weak, that is the time to be on your guard against those who would attempt to buy our national resources cheaply," he said.

The minister had previously warned of the "international ramifications" of such sales, the BBC said.


Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Iceland says no to Chinese tycoon's land purchase: ministry
Reykjavik (AFP) Nov 25, 2011
Iceland on Friday denied a request by a Chinese property tycoon to purchase a large swathe of land in the northern part of the island for a tourist resort, Interior Minister Oegmundur Jonasson said. "It is not possible to say yes to the request of the Chinese company... to get an exemption to buy land," Jonasson told reporters. The refusal was unexpected, coming two weeks after Iceland's ... read more

Schafer Corp Signs Licensing Agreement with MoonDust Technologies

Russia wants to focus on Moon if Mars mission fails

Flying over the three-dimensional Moon

LRO Camera Team Releases High Resolution Global Topographic Map of Moon

NASA Launches Most Capable and Robust Rover to Mars

Did US climate weapon knock-out Russian probe

Russia's Medvedev evokes Stalin ahead of elections

The Martian Chronicles Continues With Russian Bit Part

Dutch astronaut's cheesy request

Looking for a Space Job

Thanksgiving in space may one day come with all the trimmings

More U.S. science degrees by foreign-born

15 patents granted for Chinese space docking technology

China plans major effort in pursuing manned space technology

Tiangong-1 orbiter enters long-term operation management

China launches two satellites: state media

FLEX-ible Insight Into Flame Behavior

Satellite junk no threat to space station crew

Space Station Trio Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

Russian Soyuz brings astronauts safely back to Earth

Assembly milestone reached with Ariane 5 to launch next ATV

Russia launches Chinese satellite

AsiaSat 7 Spacecraft Separation Successfully Completed

Pleiades 1 is readied for launch

Habitable Does not Mean 'Earth-Like'

Exo planet count tops 700

Giant planet ejected from the solar system

Three New Planets and a Mystery Object Discovered Outside Our Solar System

AsiaSat 7 Performs Post-Launch Maneuvers

"Cyber Monday" sizzles with US online shopping

New Light Cast on Electrons Heated to Several Billion Degrees By Lasers

Researchers reduce smartphones' power consumption by more than 70 percent

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement