South China Sea ad takes center stage in Times Square

Jul 26th 2016 / Meng Yaping / Originally posted at CCTVNews

A video advertisement on the South China Sea has been playing in Times Square in New York, giving passersby a thorough look into China’s history in the maritime body, while setting the record straight about the truth of the questionable international arbitration.

The three-minute long video explores in details how China first came to discover, name and develop islands in the South China Sea and relevant waters.

In the video, Chinese and foreign experts, scholars and politicians elaborate on the historical and legal evidence on which China rightfully has built its sovereignty and rights over the South China Sea. They explain why the arbitration, which was unilaterally initiated by the Philippines in 2013, has been widely considered as unlawful, and call on the concerned parties to settle their dispute peacefully through dialogue and negotiations.

The advertisement has been broadcast 120 times a day since July 23, and will run till August 3 on “China Screen”, a 19-meter-high by 12-meter-wide screen at 2 Times Square, the building that is the northern anchor of the district.

Since August 2011, the screen has been displaying videos promoting Xinhua News Agency and cultural attractions of cities like Shanghai, as well as advertisements for Chinese companies such as LETV, Huawei and Haier.

Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the heart of New York’s Midtown Manhattan. Known as the “Crossroads of the World,” the famous locale has long served as a venue for competition between top international brands. An estimated 500,000 people pass through the square each day.

The ad has been attracting crowds of passersby to stop and watch.

“It is very necessary to put up such an advertisement here. We need to let the world know the truth,” a tourist from east China’s Shandong Province told Xinhua.

The display also resonated within the Chinese circle in New York. Ma Yue, chairman of China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification in New York, said that the advertisement not only illustrates the legitimacy of China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea islands, but also disseminates Beijing’s position on the so-called arbitration.

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