A Chinese tycoon’s bid to buy a vast tract of land for construction of a US$100-million theme park in Iceland has come under fire, with skeptics saying the deal is really aimed at gaining a strategic foothold in the North Atlantic, the Financial Times reported. Huang Nubo, a property investor and former government official, has signed a provisional deal to acquire 300 square kilometers of wilderness in northeast Iceland – nearly 0.3% of the sparsely populated country – as the site for an eco-tourism resort and gold course. Opponents say the project, which is close to a deepwater port, could provide China with a strategic land holding between Europe and North America, as well as a potential hub for Asian cargo should global warming open Arctic waters to shipping. People close to Huang, the chairman of Zhongkun Property and a former propaganda department official, say his purchase is motivated by a love of nature; Huang has had ties with Iceland since sharing a room at Peking University with an Icelandic student in the 1970s, they said.
Source: China Economic Review