China Airs New South China Sea Propaganda Video in Times Square

Following China’s overwhelming loss in a recent international tribunal ruling on territorial claims to the South China Sea in which the Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected China’s historical claim to the region in favor of the Philippine’s sovereign rights, the Asian power-nation is spreading its propaganda wings.

In a new stunt to “teach” the world that the waters and islands in the South China Sea have always belonged to China, the government pulled out the big guns (not literally, thank goodness). The Chinese Communist Party has debuted a 3 minute 13 second video in the world’s most famous city: New York City.

The video is displayed on massive screens in NYC’s bustling hub of sensory overload, Times Square. Not only is China shoving the “truth” down the throats of visitors just wanting to experience the Big Apple with the sheer size of the video, but the government has also set the video to play an excessive 120 times a day.

How much does an antic like this cost? A lot. State-run media agency Xinhua began leasing a large block of screens in Times Square back in 2011 to air advertisements promoting itself and China’s attractions. Shanghaiist reports that at that time, the precious ad space cost an estimated $300,000 (2 million RMB) to $400,000 (2.6 million RMB) a month. Now that is a pretty penny.

The video, which has been called “Boring AF” by Buzzfeed, tells the story of a China that has been, is, and always will have the rights to the South China Sea. The ad is set to catchy music and shows beautiful footage of the picturesque subtropical waters and various Chinese cultural images as texts of propaganda fill the screen. Through the use of a variety of foreign officials and “experts”, the video emphasizes the historical and cultural importance of the South China Sea.

“China is the only true owner of the Nansha Islands,” Wu Shicun, President of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, is seen saying.

“China is the first to have discovered, named, and explored and exploited Nanhai Zhudao (the South China Sea Islands) and other relevant waters,” another text from the video reads.

The video is being played July 23rd until August 3rd. So if you’re headed to Times Square for the day, chances are, you’ll see it – almost certainly more than once.