China just took the fight over the South China Sea to a whole new level: to a high-rise building in Time Square.
Since the Hague Tribunal ruling stating that China had no legal basis to its claim on the broad swath of water, the China has been getting desperate — and hence, came up with a clumsy ploy to move the minds of the masses.
In the effort to spread awareness (read: propaganda) of China’s claim on the waters, the state-run Xinhua news agency announced Tuesday that a 3-minute video will be played on one of the screens in Time Square 120 times day from July 23 to August 3.
Projected from 2 Times Square building, the footage recounts how the South China Sea was discovered and developed and “reiterates that disputes in the South China Sea should be settled through negotiations.”
It also features several global experts showing support for China’s stance in the long-running dispute — even though some outright deny that notion.
For example, U.K. parliamentarian Catherine West was very perplexed to find she was featured in the video and not only was she misrepresented as a “shadow foreign secretary” but her words were taken out of context.
China hasn’t gotten any better with its lame propaganda but it certainly hasn’t spared any money in trying. In 2011, Xinhua started leasing screens to promote its advertisements in New York and the space cost an estimate $300,000 to $400,000 a month at the time.
The video also brings up a dual track approach that suggests “friendly consultations and negotiations between the states directly concerned” — subtle advice to the United States to butt out. Ironic, as they chose New York to air their video.
Many residents of China believe the “unjust” Hague ruling was influenced strongly by the United States and have aggressively boycotted American brands. A number of videos have emerged of people smashing their iPhones and holding protest outside KFC restaurants.