The Icelandic parliament is deciding whether to allow Chinese billionaire Huang Nubo to buy 158 square miles of land to build an "eco-resort" near Iceland's remote Vatnajokull National Park. The deal would sell off .3 percent of Iceland's landmass and would make Nubo the biggest foreign landowner in Iceland. Huang has said that he wants to develope an airport, golf course, luxury hotel, and horse-riding facilities. In a press conference earlier this month, Huang said the purchase would create the largest nature preserve in Europe because the resort would sit between two national parks. Huang, a former government official, is listed by Forbes as the 129th richest man in China and has climbed Mount Everest three times. Icelanders are concerned that the land would ultimately help secure a launchpad for future Chinese deepwater drilling in the Arctic. “In talks with Icelandic authorities, (the Chinese) have made a point of saying it was very plausible” that China would use its foothold in Iceland as a trans-Arctic shipping port, said Icelandic official Arni Thor Sigurdsson. The land Huang seeks is near the Vatnajokull Glacier, which covers eight percent of Iceland year round and is the largest glacier, by volume, in Europe.
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