A video showing missiles being fired into the air from a coastline is being widely shared on social media, where users are claiming that it shows the Chinese military test-firing missiles towards Taiwan, from the Fujian coast.
The claim came on the back of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, which was seen as a controversial move. Reports of the Chinese military sending troops along its coast, close to Taiwan also emerged, with their spokesperson saying that they would "take strong measures to thwart any external interference."
However, the claim is false. The video shows a Taiwanese military drill and dates back to November 2020. It is not a recent video and is not related to Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
The video is being shared with the following claim in English –
"PRC coastline province, Fujian, warming up the missile shots tonight."
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
While looking for reports regarding the video, we came across an article by Taiwan Fact-Check, which mentioned that the video showed a military exercise carried out by the Taiwanese Military's Mazu Defense Department in 2020.
Taking clues from here, we looked up reports of the Mazu Defense Department and missiles using simplified Chinese keywords on Google.
The search led us to a YouTube channel named 'Mazu Daily,' which had shared a similar video on 6 November, 2020.
The video's description loosely translated to “Ma Defense Department's Yuntai live-fire shooting exercise kicked off the 6th Matsu Marathon in 2020."
Using the first few words of the description as search terms in Chinese, we looked for more reports regarding the exercise.
We came across the same video, on Dongsen News CH51's verified YouTube channel, uploaded on 7 November 2021. This video's translated description stated, "Mazu performed a routine gimbal exercise in the evening. The dense fire network composed of various machine guns and machine guns was quite shocking."
A search on social media led us to a Facebook post by 'Tong Media,' which showed us a compilation of visuals of the Taiwanese Military's exercise. At the 26-second mark into the video, we see the clip from the viral claim.
Though there are reports of the Chinese military carrying out missile drills close to the Taiwanese coast, this is not a video of such a drill.
Clearly, this video predates US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit and is not a recent video of 'Chinese military firing missiles at Taiwan.'
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