Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland!
Last week, the United States President Donald Trump had a rather wacky proposition. He offered to buy Greenland, the largest island on earth.
Greenland is an autonomous Danish territory. It has home rule, but defence and foreign affairs remain under Danish governance. The island also receives an annual subsidy of about $500 million from Denmark.
No wonder the Danes weren’t amused. A former Denmark prime minister even asked if the US President was joking! The present prime minister Mette Frederiksen called the idea absurd.
The US has built several military bases and weather stations since World War II in Greenland. In 1968, a B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons crashed near the Thule air base in northwestern Greenland, causing radioactive contamination.
Greenland’s population of just 56,000 is concentrated around its coastlines. More than 80% of Greenland’s 2.2 million sq. km are covered in ice, and the island has attracted considerable attention recently amid concerns that climate change is causing that ice to melt at a record pace.
But the US is not the only one to show interest in Greenland. China too wants some land there. The US has been trying to buy Greenland for a long time. In 1946, President Harry Truman offered $100 million for the island.
Greenland may not sell, but other nations have been dealing in this kind of trade. Take a look…
- America bought Alaska for $7.2 million in 1867 since the Russians felt it would be difficult to defend the territory in case of a war.
- The US’ biggest purchase was Louisiana from France for $15 million in 1801.
- The US bought Florida from Spain in 1819 for $5 million.
- China struck a deal with Tajikistan in 2011 to buy 1,000 sq km in the Pamir Mountains area.
- Germany bought Caroline & Mariana Islands from Spain in 1899.
- Former USSR bought Janiskoski-Niskakoski territory from Finland for 700 million Finnish markka in 1947.
- Pakistan bought the port city from Oman in 1958 for 5.5 billion Pakistani rupees.
- France bought Saint Barthelemy in the West Indies from Sweden for 320 thousand French Franc in 1878.