An old video from November 2020 showing a live-fire military drill conducted by the Taiwan military is being shared with the false claim that it shows the Chinese military in Fujian province conducting military exercises in the strait of Taiwan.
The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometer-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia - China's Fujian province facing Taiwan to its west. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's dramatic late-night arrival in Taipei, Taiwan on August 2, 2022, defying threats of reprisals by China has heightened tensions.
After Pelosi's arrival in Taiwan, Beijing announced that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) would conduct live-fire drills that would take place in six regions around Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, escalating tensions further. On August 2, 2022, Taiwanese authorities claimed that 21 Chinese military aircraft subsequently entered the southern end of the island's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
The political status of Taiwan is contentious with China considering it to be an 'inalienable part of China', with its stand on opposing the US conducting official exchanges with the Taiwan authorities.
The viral video is being shared with the caption, "PRC coastline province, Fujian, warming up the missile shots tonight."
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On Facebook, the viral video is being shared with the caption, "PRC coastline province, Fujian, warming up the missile shots tonight, welcoming Pelosi's landing."
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The video is being widely shared on Facebook with the false claim.
FACT-CHECKBOOM found that the viral video is from a military drill by the Taiwanese Army in November 2020, and not a recent military exercise by China in the strait of Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
The same video was previously fact-checked by Taiwan FactCheck Center on July 31, 2022, when it was being shared falsely claiming it is a Chinese military drill before Pelosi's anticipated visit on August 2, 2022.
Taking a hint from this, we searched with the relevant keywords in Chinese on Facebook, and found the video posted on November 13, 2020 by the Facebook page Tong media.
The caption when translated reads, "Recently, residents of Matsu took pictures of the Taiwanese army's live-fire drill on the main road. This scene attracted many nearby residents, who stopped to watch and take pictures. However, the shells at the scene flew directly over the heads of the people and hit the sea not far away, causing netizens to call out the danger. More netizens directly satirized: Are you sure it's not a fireworks show? (Source: Haike News)"
This 52 seconds video has a compilation of videos uploaded by Taiwanese users on the Taiwan military drill in Matsu, Taiwan. At the 26 to 42 seconds timestamp we can see the same sequence of events as in the viral video.
Additionally, footage from the same military exercise by the Taiwan military in Matsu was also reported by the Taiwanese news channel EBC News uploaded on YouTube on November 7, 2020.
The title when translated reads, "Defense Department's exercises shocking scenes of various machine guns and machine guns"
The same video was also viral with false claims in November 2020 and the Taiwan FactCheck Center had fact-checked it. It had then reported a statement from Team Leader Huang of the Army Command confirming that the military exercise was a routine military exercise conducted by the Taiwan army's Matsu Defense Command.
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