Photo: Joe Capra/Midnight Sun
Last year Huang Nubo, a Chinese real estate tycoon, shocked the world with his plan to buy 300 square kilometers (115 square miles) of land in north-east Iceland.While Huang said that his plan was to build a hotel and golf course, there were worries that about such a large purchase of land (0.3 per cent of Iceland’s total), and the deal was later declined by Icelandic officials.
According to a new interview with Bloomberg, Huang has arranged to lease the land, known as Grímsstadir á Fjöllum, rather than buy it. The plan is to build golf course, nature trails and around a 100 luxury villas for primarily Chinese clients.
Huang’s plans plans had been viewed with suspicion because of the wider relationship between Iceland, China, and the Arctic.
Iceland and China have been enjoying a close relationship in recent months, with Premier Wen Jiabao visiting in April. Observers believe that China is especially keen to develop a relationship with China due to its key position between Europe and the Americas — a position that would become only more vital should Arctic ice continue to melt and create a new shipping route to the North of Russia and Europe.
Iceland is also a key member of the Arctic Council, which China has ambitions of earning a permanent observer seat at (Norway is blocking them, however).
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