South China Sea ad displayed on billboard at New York’s Times Square


NEW YORK: China’s state news agency Xinhua has said that a video for the disputed South China Sea is being shown on a billboard in New York’s Times Square.

Launched last Saturday (Jul 23), the promotional video will continue to be screened on the billboard until Aug 3, according to Xinhua. Xinhua has leased the advertising space, which is occupied by a 60 feet (18 metre) high by 40 feet wide LED sign, since 2011, according to the New York Times.

In an online article, Xinhua said that the video explained “the historical and legal basis backing China’s indisputable territorial sovereignty and rights” over the South China Sea. It said that the video will be played “about 120 times a day” and that it has “triggered strong approval among Chinese residing in New York”.

The video comes in the wake of a key ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration two weeks ago, which rejected Beijing’s claims to most of the waters.

Produced in English, the video provides seemingly historical justification for China’s assertion of sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. It showcases soundbites from foreign analysts and politicians, including UK Labour MP and shadow foreign minister Catherine West and Masood Khalid, ambassador of Pakistan to China. According to Xinhua, these analysts and politicians “defend China’s position on the South China Sea disputes”.