China has shown great interest in the Ryøya island in Northern Norway. (Photo: Bjoertvedt / Wikimedia Commons)
It is well known that China is investing heavily in Arctic areas to ensure access to future valuable raw materials and energy sources – but it is a mystery why they want to buy the Ryøya island near the city of Tromsø in Northern Norway, only inhabited by three temperamental musk oxen.
The island, which is described as a pearl, was put up for sale with a suggested price of 12 million Norwegian kroner (1.6 million dollars). It is the Arctic University of Norway (UiT) that is selling the 346-acres property.
Chinese representatives have been visiting Ryøya after it was put up for sale in September. In addition, a Chinese ship has been observed in the area, itromso.no reports.
The real estate broker commissioned to sell the island can confirm that a group from China, not individuals, has shown interest.
Also UiT can confirm that the Chinese have shown interest in the “Musk Oxen Island”. However, the three prehistoric animals living on the island is not included in the sales.
Previously Ryøya has been used for research, so this may also be the possible future purpose. Moreover, the area is a popular recreational area because of fishing and the beautiful location.
The island is located between two strong tidal currents and it is granted two licenses to develop tidal power. Could this be the reason why the Chinese are interested?
Should China make a bid and buy the property, they will secure themselves an island with strategic location: Ryøya is located right in the middle of the main sea lane to and from the city of Tromsø, where the strait is at its narrowest.
Tromsø municipality is also interested in buying Ryøya, but the price is too high. In addition, there has also been shown interest from private investors.
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Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews