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Iceland rejection of land purchase criticized
Date:2011/11/28      View:1850
 
A Chinese businessman criticized Icelandic authorities' rejection of his land purchase plan in the country, saying the decision highlighted the prejudice faced by Chinese investors abroad, a Beijing-based newspaper reported Sunday.

"The denial reflects the unjust and parochial investment environment facing private Chinese enterprises abroad," the English-language China Daily quoted Huang Nubo in an interview after Iceland refused Friday Huang's request to buy a 300-square km section of land to develop an eco-resort.

The sale had been initiated by the Icelandic landowners themselves and the rejection was a loss for both Icelandic and Chinese investors, Huang was quoted as saying.

He blamed the western countries for imposing "double standards," saying they are eager to "encourage the opening of the Chinese market while they close their doors to Chinese investments."

Huang also warned fellow Chinese entrepreneurs to make sure they fully understand the political environment before going into the global market or risk being caught between conflicting political powers.

Huang, chairman of Beijing-based Zhongkun Investment Group, announced plans in August to build a high-end resort in Iceland with an investment of 200 million U.S. dollars.

The issue stirred controversy as some media reports hinted that the proposed investment could provide a cover for China's geopolitical interests around the Arctic.

Huang has argued that his decision was motivated by his love for the country's natural beauty and his lengthy connection with its people, China Daily said.

The rejection shows a continuity of the Cold War mentality that "investment from private Chinese entrepreneurs is a threat to national safety," the newspaper quoted Bao Yunjun, chairman of the Research Association on Private Economy, as saying.

Iceland's Interior Ministry said in a statement Saturday on its website that "it is impossible to ignore" how large an area of land is involved in the purchasing plan and "there is no precedent for such a large area of Icelandic land to have been placed under foreign control."
 
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