On Friday, a curious video has been circulating on Indian social media claiming that Taiwan shot down a Chinese fighter jet. Many Indian accounts have been circulating this video on Twitter, claiming that in Guangxi near the Taiwan Strait a Sukhoi Su-35 was shot down.
Many have been sharing this video and some have been wondering if this is an indicator of an escalation of tensions between China and Taiwan.
The confusion began when many verified accounts began circulating the news that a Chinese fighter jet was shot down by Taiwan in Guangxi, claimed by media reports. Another video also showed an injured pilot. The video shows a building and billowing smoke.
Not much later, the video had gone viral in India with many netizens sharing memes and such discussing how Taiwan's THAAD system had helped in shooting down the aircraft.
Moreover, many had begun celebrating this as a show of power against China on Twitter. However, no confirmation was received from either country on the matter.
Verifying the claim
The videos itself seemed unclear without particularly showing the fighter jet clearly to identify it. Moreover, in the video, we only see two spots where a fire has broken out with smoke emerging. The area happens to be an open field.
The video showing the injured pilot, however, is shorter and the public seems to have gathered at the spot by then. The generic nature of the videos makes it hard to ascertain where and when the video is taken.
But, what was even more interesting were claims of the Taiwan Air Defense bringing down the fighter jet using THAAD or the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which is an American anti-ballistic missile defence system. This hasn't yet been procured in Taiwan and neither is it meant to work as a system to bring down an aircraft. While there have been discussions about Taiwan's possible procurement, the countries where THAAD is currently deployed include --Hawaii, Guam, UAE, Israel, Turkey, Romania, Wake island and South Korea according to Wikipedia.
Interestingly, no such reports emerged in local media in Taiwan or China about the fighter jet crash. Moreover, a press release was then issued by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of China stated:
In response to the Internet spread of "Taiwan shot down a CCP SU-35 aircraft?" The Air Force Command solemnly refuted this (4) day that this is false information, false information, and completely untrue.
The Air Force Command pointed out that it strongly condemns such malicious acts by deliberately creating and disseminating false and false information on the Internet in an attempt to confuse the audience.
The Air Force Command emphasized that in order to maintain airspace security, the headquarters will continue to closely monitor the conditions of the sea and airspace around the Taiwan Strait, and provide correct information in a timely manner to prevent the spread of fake and false news, and to avoid social unrest, and appeals to people to rest assured."- Ministry of National Defense ROC (Translated by Google Translate)
With the clarification from the Ministry itself, we can say that the videos and the reports circulating are false.