former OSCE expert suspicious about Chinese aurora observatory in Iceland

“Northern Light research in Reykjadal an excuse?” asks last week’s Akureiri Vikublað on its very front page, introducing an interview with Pascal Heyman, a security policy expert formerly with the OSCE. “The fact that the Chinese come here and want to research the skies above Iceland” at a projected aurora observatory, says Heyman, “looks suspicious.” They might be wanting to use “modern technology” to keep an eye on “everything going on” up there, in what is actually “NATO airspace”, and warns Iceland to be wary of Chinese intentions and rather increase cooperation with their Scandinavian neighbours.

The aurora observatory is a joint project of Icelandic researchers and the PRIC (China’s polar research institute), somewhat facilitated by Halldór Jóhannsson, Huang Nubo’s spokesman in Iceland, and others.

The wording towards the end of the Akureyri Vikublað article makes me wonder if Mr Heyman knew about the aurora observatory before the interview.

(Via RÚV and Islandsbloggen.)

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aurora observatory ready by October: PRIC

The Polar Research Institute of China (the PRIC) announces a preliminary design for the main building of the Chinese-Icelandic aurora observatory near Akureyri is ready, and provides a (rather stylised) computer model. The whole thing is supposed to be ready by October.

The land for the observatory was secured last year by a foundation led by Reinhard Reynisson, famous for his proposal to use crocodiles for waste-disposal in the town of Húsavík he was the mayor of, and Halldór Jóhannsson, Huang Nubo’s spokesman in Iceland.