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Earlier this year Chinese Communist Party (CCP) broadcasted
the costly scrolling "branding commercials".
Now CCP's Xinhua is leasing a big screen on Times Square,
and will be playing ads starting from next week.
CCP aims to improve its global image.
Experts remind us that
money can't whitewash the late high-speed railway tragedy.
According to BBC, the LCD screen leased by Xinhua,
is 18m tall, 12m wide, located at Times Square's north end.
Half a million people pass through this area everyday.
The space was leased by HSBC, which didn't renew its lease
after the lease expired last month.
Renting this ad space is seen as another effort
to burnish CCP's image and popularize itself overseas.
Former Peking University Law lecturer Wang Tiancheng said,
CCP's propaganda will not improve its image.
The whole world is witnessing its autocracy
and worsening human rights record.
He said, when the propaganda is different from reality,
it will evoke even more negative thoughts.
Wang Tiancheng: "Instead of building a vanity project,
it is better to change itself, to improve the human rights,
and to initiate political reform.
Look at the recent high-speed rail disaster.
How bad it makes the country look.
You (CCP) handled it hastily before so many peoples' eyes.
Evidence was destroyed without any formal investigation."
Former "China Reform Magazine" news department director,
New York Times' Beijing news assistant Zhao Yan analyzes
that CCP is trying to establish its presence abroad.
They failed to buy Newsweek last year,
now they are trying to advertise on Times Square.
In addition, the Phoenix TV known as the "overseas CCTV"
became listed on Nasdaq recently.
Zhao Yan is warning the US government
to be aware of CCP's cultural and political infiltration.
Zhao Yan: "International diplomacy is based on fairness.
Which American media is listed on Chinese Stock market?
Can CNN and New York Times be listed in Shanghai?
I think Hu Jintao will say no.
Then why is Phoenix TV listed in US?
Now if New York Times wants to advertise on a big screen
in Wangfujing or Tiananmen will they let them? They'll not."
Zhao Yan suggests now when the US government permits
the CCP media and ads to come to Time Square,
they should request from China equal rights
to open up access to American media and advertisements.
Zhao Yan thinks also that if Xinhua still features
famous athletes and celebrities on its ads as earlier in the year,
in order to uplift and promote the CCP's image,
then this is a waste of the tax payers' money.
Zhao Yan: "A country's image and strengths
are not to be promoted by advertisements like this.
A country's soft powers are shown through its education,
ideology and diplomacy."
Zhao criticizes the celebrities promoting CCP's image,
which shows that the Chinese are willing to be enslaved.
This is not the Chinese's true spirit.
According to BBC, Xinhua had an office in US since 1971.
In May, Xinhua moved its US headquarters to Times Square.
Phoenix.net said that the company leasing this ad space
had refused to disclose the cost of the lease.
Based on estimates, such an ad location on Times Square
would cost in the range of USD 0.3 to 0.4 million per month.
NTD reporters Qin Xue and Xue Li