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Claim: A video shows a China Coast Guard (CCG) ship destroyed in the West Philippine Sea.
Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video containing the claim has already garnered at least 586,000 views and 1,300 comments.
The video was uploaded on September 22 with the title, “Barko ng China Coast Guard wasak nang tamaan ng hindi pa na tutukoy na Sandata!” (China Coast Guard Ship destroyed by unidentified weapon!)
A narrator also says this at the 0:43 mark: “Isang Chinese naval vessel na nagpapatrolya sa West Philippine Sea, iniulat na nawasak ng hindi pa nakikilalang armas kahapon.”
(A Chinese naval vessel patrolling the West Philippine Sea was reportedly destroyed yesterday by an unknown weapon).
The facts: Using Yandex image search, Rappler found that the alleged photo of a destroyed Chinese vessel was an altered photo of two CCG vessels in Natuna Island, Indonesia, taken on January 11, 2020.
The photo was first uploaded on the Indonesian journalistic and news photo website Antarafoto on January 12, 2020. Unlike the photo shown in the video, the original photo doesn’t show the CCG 5202 covered in smoke.
Recent activities: There are no recent reports confirming the supposed incident involving the Chinese vessel specified in the video. The most recent report involving CCG 5202 was last April 28, when CCG ships nearly collided with a Philippine patrol vessel.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said that the Chinese vessel made “dangerous maneuvers” against the Philippine Coast Guard, coming within 50 yards of BRP Malapascua in the waters off Ayungin Shoal.
Rising tensions: The misleading video was posted amid rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea. In recent weeks, China has blocked and fired water cannons at Philippine ships, installed floating barriers in Scarborough Shoal, and damaged marine ecosystems in areas within Manila’s exclusive economic zone.
Beijing refuses to acknowledge the 2016 arbitral decision that said China’s claim to most of the South China Sea had no basis under international law.
False claims: Rappler has fact-checked videos on claims regarding military encounters of countries against China:
- FACT CHECK: Video shows 2021 US ship shock trial, not missile blast from China
- FACT CHECK: Video shows New Zealand oil spill, not US attack on Chinese ship
- FACT CHECK: Video shows old news on UK ship in South China Sea
– Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com
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