"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Thursday, September 1, 2011

China wants to buy a huge chunk of Iceland

There is nothing to worry about.  We only want to buy Iceland and
 take a "Green Vacation".

A Communist Chinese "Green Resort" 
Icelandic lawmakers are concerned that the project could act as a cover for China's geopolitical interests.

Our Road to Serfdom Series never seems to end.  Now a Chinese Communist says that he wants to build a "Green Resort" in Iceland.  Right.  Been there and seen that lie.  I don't believe for one minute that this "businessman" is acting alone.  He is a front man.  The kind public face that the Party is working through.

Check out one of our other Road to Serfdom articles:  THE FEDERALIST: China is screwing Brazil.    

Iceland responded warily on Tuesday to a Chinese tycoon's plan to buy a swathe of isolated land for a green tourism venture, a deal which analysts say raises security questions due to the North Atlantic island's strategic location.

The minister responsible for approving any investment by Huang Nubo said the scheme, part of a trend of Chinese buying of assets in the West, needed close scrutiny, reports France 24.

Said Iceland's Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson, “It is important to raise awareness of the fact that acquisition like this isn’t legal. However, it is possible to apply for an exemption from the law and such an application hasn’t arrived on my desk yet but when it does, we will look at it carefully."

“The legislative body saw reason to limit the relocation of Icelandic land to foreign parties. We have to ask ourselves whether that limitation has become obsolete. I think not,” the minister added. “But now we face the fact that a foreign tycoon wants to buy 300 square kilometers of Icelandic land. We have to discuss it and not swallow without chewing; would we find it all right if the entire country were sold this way?”

Chinese "businessman" Huang Nubo is a former employee of the Chinese Communist Party's Propaganda Department and claims he wants to buy a huge chunk of Iceland to open a "Green Resort."

"This question has to be looked at carefully from many different aspects," Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson told Reuters, citing issues of selling such a large piece of land to a foreigner and the ownership of natural resources.

So far there has been little wider expression of concern in Iceland about the plan put forward by Huang, who was 161st on the Forbes list of the richest Chinese in 2010.

But analysts said security aspects of the deal could not be ignored, due to Iceland's strategic location mid-Atlantic between Europe and the United States, and its proximity to the Arctic where a number of nations are competing to make resource claims.

"While this project in Iceland might be a private initiative, it fits in a broader (Chinese) policy agenda to get hold of strategic assets abroad, ranging from land, over raw materials, to knowhow," said Jonathan Holslag, head of research at the Institute of Contemporary China Studies in Brussels.

"Furthermore, in China's 'go-global' policy, we often see that private investors are often just a vanguard for large projects by state-owned firms, and that the government usually follows with a more assertive diplomacy to protect those newly-gained interests."

Ownership of the Arctic seabed has grown in importance as the shrinking of sea ice has opened new prospects for exploration and production of the region's potentially vast oil and gas resources.

Alan Mendoza at the Henry Jackson Society, a UK-based think tank looking at national security issues, noted Iceland's strategic location outside the Arctic circle.

"China doesn't have any other route into the Arctic, and this might offer them a way in," he said. China has made major investments in Africa to satisfy its need for commodities, on top of its holdings of European government debt.

"There needs to be much more focus on what this means in the longer term," said Mendoza.

However, Steve Tsang, Professor of Contemporary Chinese Studies at Nottingham University, said the strategic issue was not immediate. "It will be a very, very long time -- three to four decades at least -- before the Chinese state as a whole can use any 'territorial base' in Iceland in any strategic way."

Huang is chairman of the Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group Co., Ltd, which describes itself on its website as a large-scale private enterprise in real estate and in the holiday industry.

In the 1980s he was in the Chinese Communist Party's Propaganda Department, working on party propaganda directed at the outside world, according to the biography on his blog.

We all want to go on vacation to Iceland.

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