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

Chinese tycoon defends Iceland project
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Aug 31, 2011

The Chinese tycoon at the centre of a storm of controversy over plans to buy a tract of land in Iceland for a tourist resort sought to calm fears in an interview with state media Wednesday.

Huang Nubo, chairman of Beijing-based property developer Zhongkun Group, told the official Xinhua news agency that it was a private business project and there was no Chinese government backing.

"The project is a purely commercial move and has no connection with politics. I believe the project will benefit both my company and locals," Huang said in the interview.

The "beautiful landscape" of Iceland gave the project potential, he said.

The developer plans to buy 300 square kilometres (about 200 square miles) of land and invest a total of $200 million to build a luxury resort with a hotel, golf course and sports facilities, Xinhua said.

The Financial Times, which reported the project this week, said opponents have warned it could give Beijing a strategic foothold in the North Atlantic.

Iceland occupies a strategically important location between Europe and North America and has been touted as a potential hub for Asian cargo should climate change open Arctic waters to shipping.

Huang confirmed his past history as a government official but denied his company had government support.

He previously worked for China's Ministry of Construction and the ruling Communist Party's propaganda department. Zhongkun was set up in 1995, according to the company's website.

The Chinese property developer and local landowners had reached a preliminary deal, but still needed approval from Iceland's government, according to the interview.

Iceland's interior minister has stressed that under Icelandic law such a sale of land -- part of which is owned by the state -- to a foreign entity would be illegal.

For it to become possible a special exemption from the law would be required, minister Ogmundur Jonasson said Tuesday in Reykjavik.

Huang said the investment would also require approval from the Chinese government, which could take up to six months.

China is encouraging companies to invest abroad as part of a strategy to create global firms and utilise its massive foreign exchange reserves.

Huang pledged to evaluate the environmental impact of the project and promised to surrender the rights to "exploit" water resources as the land includes one of Iceland's biggest glacial rivers.

He added that he had personal ties to the country through an Icelandic friend in the 1970s and cultural activities. The businessman said he had donated money for exchanges between Chinese and Icelandic poets.

"(Iceland's) landscape impressed me very much and local business people expressed that they were interested in attracting Chinese investment," he said.

Iceland's booming economy collapsed in 2008 when its hugely overstretched banking sector plunged suddenly into crisis and its three major banks collapsed within a matter of weeks.


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

Research Vessel Polarstern at North Pole
North Pole (SPX) Aug 25, 2011
You can't get any "higher": on 22 August 2011 at exactly 9.42 a.m. the research icebreaker Polarstern of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association reaches the North Pole. The aim of he current expedition is to document changes in the far north. Thus, the researchers on board are conducting an extensive investigation programme in the water, ice ... read more

Armstrong relives historic Moon landing

NASA's Next Generation Robotic Lander Gets Sideways During Test

Moon Express Gets Thumbs-Up from NASA for Developing New Lunar Landing Technology

NASA Moon Mission in Final Preparations for September Launch

Out of Thin Martian Air

Russian, European space agencies to team up for Mars mission

New Rover Snapshots Capture Endeavour Crater Vistas

France, Russia talk of Mars mission

NASA Aeronautics Is Focus Of Research And Technology Roundtable

New Report Analyzes Development Paths of Emerging Space Nations and Sustainable Use of Outer Space

First Soyuz launch from Kourou to go ahead: Arianespace

Recent grad's astro feats regarded as research crown 'joule'

Orbits for Tiangong

Chinese orbiter launch failure will not affect unmanned space module launch

Rocket malfunction causes satellite to not reach preset orbit

China satellite aborts mission after 'malfunction'

The next ATV resupply spacecraft arrives next mission to ISS

Russia delays next manned space flight

Thales Alenia Space's Cygnus PCM shipped to United States

Resupply Craft Lost While Crew Focuses on Departure and Science

Progress space freighter destroyed in atmosphere

Russia to test launch Soyuz rockets before delivering ISS crews

The fifth Ariane 5 of 2011 is ready for integration of its dual-satellite payload

Glonass-M satellite launch postponed for additional check

Greenhouse Effect Could Extend Habitable Zone

A Planet Made of Diamond

Astronomers Find Ice and Possibly Methane on Snow White

Hubble to Target 'Hot Jupiters'

Scientists put a new spin on traditional information technology

HP plans one last production run for the TouchPad

Indian MPs get iPad lessons to cut paperwork

Amazon tablet seen as worthy iPad rival

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