The Irrawaddy reports that Steven Law, also known as U Htun Myint Naing and (under various spellings) Luo Bingzhong 罗秉忠, a Myanmar tycoon under US sanctions due to his link to the former military regime and his father’s heroin business, has been to Canada as part of an official trade delegation.
Western criticism of Mr Law’s background and connections has hardly hampered his congolomerate’s partnership with various Chinese state-owned companies, notably CNOOC, as I took the trouble to expound some time ago (‘The Law of the jungle‘).
Among the deals signed during Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Greece is a $13m “long term cooperation agreement” between Alagni, Crete-based olive oil producer Emelko (ΕΜΕΛΚΟ ΕΠΕ) and importer Shanghai Chaoshang Food Ltd (上海巢尚食品有限公司). Emelko have already been selling oil to China for several years.
Last year I wrote in some length about Chinese interest in olive oil in Greece, Spain and Australia (‘China hits the grove‘).
A visit to Greenland by a group Chinese potential investors is scheduled to take all of this week and meet with local officials, including the premier and ministers. According to the organiser, Beijing law firm Rainmaker/Yuren (雨仁律师事务所), the delegation will visit companies with rights over iron, zinc, lead, gold, oil and gas deposits, as well as seafood processors.
“There has never been any form of contact with Huang Nubo, either from the Horn family […] or from anyone representing” them, says Sveinung O. Flaaten, a lawyer for the family to Norwegian newspaper VG, days after Mr Huang was quoted by national broadcaster NRK as calling himself the “only” bidder in “one-to-one talks” with the Horns to buy their 200 km2 plot on Svalbard and build a tourist resort. “One can only speculate about what Huang Nubo wishes to achieve by spreading such disinformation,” adds Flaaten.
Huang had given NRK an interview in Beijing, and quotes from it appeared in a couple of articles on NRK’s website (some translated and linked to in my two posts on the subject). NRK news show Dagsrevyen also aired part of that interview, specifically those where Huang estimates the price being talked about (above $4m) and describes what he would like to build there. Huang’s Chinese and the Norwegian subtitles match just fine, so a translation error would seem to be out of the question. Either Huang or NRK’s Beijing correspondent Anders Magnus somehow mixing up the Svalbard plot and the two-hundred times smaller property Huang is (for sure) buying in mainland Norway is also rather unlikely.
Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Commerce tells how, in the days following NRK’s airing of the interview, their representation in Norway has been “constantly receiving phone enquiries and visits from Norwegian property and tourism businesspeople” who expressed their willingness to work with Huang.
The Norwegian government now also say they’ll try to buy the land.
Last winter, another little scandal about Huang reportedly offering $200k to buy some wine from 1653 in Bremen ended with a translator being blamed for it all.