Ad on dispute runs in New York Times

Chinese philanthropist Chen Guangbiao is planning to buy advertising space in Japanese newspapers to assert China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands.

Last Friday, he took out a half-page advertisement in the New York Times saying, in both Chinese and English, that the islands belong to China.

Chen, CEO of a recycling company and well known for his high-profile charity work, said that a major Japanese newspaper had agreed to publish the ads but wanted tens of millions of yen to do so.

"No matter how much the newspaper charges, I would pay to advertise," he said.

Chen said he was enraged by Japan's violation of China's territorial sovereignty, and was seeking to tell the Japanese and Americans the facts behind the dispute.

The New York Times advertisement, which Chen designed and wrote, said: "How would Americans feel and what would America do, if Japan announced that Hawaii was its territory?"

The ad featured his portrait and signature along with another photo of him on a bicycle. In the ad, he described himself as a "citizen of China and advocate of peace."

Chen said the ad had initially said Pearl Harbor but the newspaper insisted he replace it with Hawaii.

Chen spent 10 days handing out questionnaires on the islands on US buses and metros and on the streets.

The results, he said, showed that more than 95 percent of Americans did not know the facts about the islands.

That confirmed his decision to advertise in the US media.

"I think many politicians and world leaders read the New York Times, so I chose the newspaper to publish the ad," he said. It is reported that the ad cost Chen US$30,000.

"As an entrepreneur and philanthropist, I just want to do what I can to tell the facts to more people around the world that the Diaoyu Islands are Chinese territory," Chen said.

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