Skip to comments.In Denmark, Hu Jintao (Red China's president) sets eyes on Greenland's minerals
Posted on 06/18/2012 2:46:07 AM PDT by Olog-hai
Chinese President Hu Jintao's three-day visit to Denmark may ostensibly have been about signing billions worth of business deals, but a stake in Greenland's huge mineral wealth may have been the elephant in the room.
Greenland, a self-governing dependency of Denmark, has some of the world's biggest deposits of rare earth elements, strategically important metals in which China has a near monopoly. The Atlantic island is also situated next to sea lanes that are increasingly important as the Arctic melts, and Washington has an air base in the northwest of the territory.
That may explain why the leader of the world's most populous country decided to devote three days to visiting Denmark, a nation of just 5.6 million.
"He didn't come just to look at the Little Mermaid," said Damien Degeorges, an associate researcher with the University of Greenland, referring to the small bronze statue of the mermaid from the fairytale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.
The first state visit to Denmark since the countries established diplomatic ties 62 years ago occurred less than two months after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao went to Iceland, raising more questions about what China wants in the far north.
Danish and Chinese firms signed roughly 2.3 billion ($2.9 billion) worth of export and investment deals, including plans by Danish brewer Carlsberg to build a big brewery in China and by Maersk to expand the Chinese port of Ningbo.
Danish and Chinese officials also signed 11 agreements on Saturday (16 June) in areas from health to climate, food and fisheries.
The United States' Thule air base is sometimes dubbed "the eyes and ears of US defense". With China showing increased interest in the Arctic and its mining companies already exploring for iron, copper and gold in Greenland, the island could find itself at the intersection of Chinese and US interests.
Danish officials tried to shoot down speculation that Hu's visit was ultimately about Greenland's resources.
We could just wait a few more years for all the Greenland ice to melt and then mine much easier in the tropical warmth amongst the greenland palmtrees./s
We have a very powerful PAVE PAWS radar instillation at Thule Air Base.
“...has some of the world’s biggest deposits of rare earth elements, strategically important metals in which China has a near monopoly...”
China’s “near monopoly” is at least partially our own fault.
The United States has also has deposits of these minerals but the federal government has made the regulatory process too stringent and costly for them to be developed.
When attritional global war and existential threat become openly impactful to the people through the loss of territory and several ignominious surrenders of US theater forces, we will begin to dig.
Assumes facts not in evidence.
Stopped there- no need to read farther.