Video shows

Video shows navy training in 2020, not recent footage from Taiwan

The Claim: Video Shows US Navy Planes Flying Near Taiwan Ahead of Pelosi’s Visit

Chinese military threats of retaliation against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan have sparked misinformation on social media.

A Facebook video shared on July 30 showed US military aircraft flying above a naval fleet. The message claims that the US Navy was sent ahead of Pelosi’s visit on August 2.

“Just now: US Navy warplanes flying near Taiwan. Ahead of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, tension in the region has reached an all-time high (sic)”, reads in the caption.

The video garnered over 900 views in four days. Similar posts racked up interactions on Twitter.

But the video isn’t related to Pelosi’s visit. The footage shows a 2020 military training exercise, a Navy spokesperson told USA TODAY.

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USA TODAY has reached out to users who shared the claim for comment.

The video predates the visit to Taiwan

The clip shows a Sept. 25, 2020 U.S. Navy training exercise in the Philippine Sea, Navy spokesman Andrew Bertucci told USA TODAY.

“The video taken was from a sailor and not an official Navy production,” Bertucci said. Official footage of the exercise is available on a Department of Defense website.

The exercise, dubbed “Valiant Shield,” provides “real-world mastery of maintaining joint forces by detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas”. according to the description of the video on a Department of Defense website.

The video seen in the Facebook post matches a video uploaded to YouTube on April 15, 2021. It was also posted to TikTok a day later.

Fact check:Video of live-fire exercise in Taiwan dates back to 2020

Prior to Pelosi’s visit, US Navy warships, including an aircraft carrier, were operating in the Western Pacific near Taiwan in what officials said were standard military drills amid rising tensions with China .

Our opinion: False

Based on our research, we rate the claim that video shows US Navy aircraft flying near Taiwan prior to Pelosi’s visit FALSE. The clip shows a 2020 military training exercise, a US Navy spokesperson said.

Our fact-checking sources:

  • USA TODAY, Aug. 3, Pelosi Strongly Supports Taiwanese Democracy; US prepares for Chinese military exercises
  • Tik Tok, April 16, 2021, Video
  • YouTube, April 15, 2021, Video
  • Reuters, Aug. 2, U.S. Navy deploys four warships east of Taiwan as Pelosi heads for Taipei
  • United States Naval Institute News, August 1, UPDATE: Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan, F-35B Big Deck operating near Taiwan as Pelosi arrives in Singapore; China renews its threats
  • Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, September 25, 2020, Valiant Shield 2020
  • Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, September 25, 2020, Valiant Shield 2020 PHOTOEX [Image 13 of 24]
  • Andrew Bertucci, August 8, email exchange with USA TODAY

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Our fact-checking work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.