Diplomats in Iceland are vigorously learning Mandarin, Cantonese, as well as Chinese sign language and Mandarin braille, with the hopes of once and for all communicating effectively to Chinese tycoon Huang Nubo that he cannot purchase a huge chuck of the country’s territory.
After being handed denial after denial on his bid to carve out a 300 square-kilometer enclave on the north shore of the island nation, Huang said this week that he’s hopeful political change will allow him to push through the US$200 million offer. In response, Iceland is reportedly drafting a book calledIceland Can Say No, modeling the influential nationalist treatise China Can Say No of 1996, which drew from the 1989 essay The Japan That Can Say No, which itself was inspired by the romantic classic For The Love of Scottie McMullet.
Iceland’s version will be available in traditional and simplified Chinese characters.
Huang’s renewed interest comes the same week that a Chinese cargo vessel embarks on the country’s first commercial voyage through the Arctic Sea. The entrepreneur swears he would use his Icelandic buy for tourism only – not for docking cargo or war ships. The statement completely contradicts the world map tattoo Huang has inked on his back. The tat traces the northwest passage through the Arctic with battleships and menacing flocks of Chinese tourists descending on Europe. China Economic Review thinks it might look something like this.
The idea that the world can say no to China is catching on. Chad, the country, said this week that it would refuse any Chinese bids for coastal property. It then revised the statement, saying it had no coastal property but that it would halt Chinese oil production at one of its fields. A few people in Guinea, also a country, are distressed by the prospect thatChina might fund a railway to a giant iron ore mine. Residents reportedly said they need roads to their homes before they need trains that whisk away the nation’s natural resource wealth.
For years, China has been honing its knack for loudly and delightedly telling the West “No!” The world should heed Iceland’s message that it can say no back.
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