China rents screen at Times Square for South China Sea propaganda: Report

  • ANI, London
  • Updated: Jul 31, 2016 20:05 IST
A woman walks past a billboard featuring an image of an island in South China Sea on display with Chinese words that read: "South China Sea, our beautiful motherland, we won't let go an inch" in Weifang. (AP)

Scaling up its propaganda on South China Sea, China has booked a huge screen at New York’s busiest commercial intersection, Times Square, which broadcasts 120 times a day a video that gives its own take on the territorial dispute in the region.

The footage, which features foreign experts, states the recent tribunal in the Hague vainly attempted to deny China’s “territorial sovereignty”, has come under fire for misrepresenting the views of a British politician on China’s island-building project, a report published in the Guardian said on Sunday.

British Labour Party MP Catherine West has issued a statement, saying her views were misrepresented in the video and that she was also misidentified as Labour’s shadow foreign secretary.

“I think talks are crucial and that’s why we have to be careful that, yes, we need to resolve something very locally and have a grown-up approach to dialogue,” she says in the footage.

In a statement published by the Japan Times, West said: “I was unaware that these comments would be used in this manner.”

She added her intention behind agreeing to appear in the video was to lend support for a peaceful resolution to the South China Sea dispute and that she didn’t expect to be portrayed as supporting China’s stance.

Meanwhile, Chinese state media claims the Times Square video is drawing “a huge response” and is helping China correct falsehoods propagated by the Hague ruling.

However, China itself is being accused of spreading falsehoods with this kind of a propaganda video.

Another expert quoted in the video is John Ross, identified as a “former policy director of economic and business policy of London”. But the video does not mentions that Ross is a professor at Beijing’s Renmin University and a frequent defender of China’s policies in state-run media.

According to state media, China plans to play its three-minute-long video in Times Square 120 times a day until August 3.

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