A Chinese tycoon has already won private landowner agreements in the proposed purchase of a massive tract of land in Iceland that critics worry could provide Beijing with a presence in the North Atlantic.
The Financial Times reported late Monday that Huang Nubo, a former government official who is now a real estate investor, is seeking Icelandic governmental approval of the purchase of a tract of land that amounts to 0.3% of the country’s total area. The 300 square kilometers (115.83 square miles) of land in northeast Iceland, known as Grímsstadir á Fjöllum, is intended for a $100 million tourism project, an ecotourism resort and golf course.
Opponents question the need for so much land and point out that Iceland is in a location that would be strategically important for Asian cargo should Arctic waters be opened through climate change to shipping. The land, while not coastal, is in proximity to a deepwater port and contains one of Iceland’s largest glacial rivers. Huang has sought to reassure Icelanders by saying that he would renounce all rights to water running through the land.