25 Sep '11, 4am

Chinese target Arctic riches with Iceland land deal: experts

Chinese target Arctic riches with Iceland land deal: experts

REYKJAVIK: A Chinese businessman's plans to buy a swathe of Iceland for a resort have sparked local scepticism, amid speculation it is a bid by Beijing to get its hands on Arctic riches. The melting Arctic ice cap means lucrative oil and gas deposits under the seabed could soon become accessible, and shorter shipping routes between Asia and Europe will open up. Observers suggest those prospects may be the real reason behind property tycoon Huang Nubo's plans to buy 300 square kilometres (200 square miles) of Icelandic wilderness. He says he wants to build a luxury resort with a hotel, golf course and sports facilities, and Europe's biggest nature reserve. The purchase could give China a foothold in the region -- enabling it to establish contacts and gather information -- before the Arctic treasure chest opens up. "It is likely that the Chinese government will find every wa...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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