A Digest of Pelosi's Taiwan trip (Aug 2)

A Digest of Pelosi's Taiwan trip (Aug 2)

Summer Chen, Hui-An Ho

As US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday (Aug 2), tensions between Taiwan and China have been rising. Shortly after Pelosi’s arrival, China announced three days of military exercises and live-fire drills to encircle Taiwan from August 4-7.

Pelosi’s Asia trip and China’s response have sparked a misinformation wave on social media since July 29. As of Aug 3, Taiwan FactCheck Center has since published eight fact-checks debunking falsehoods related to Pelosi’s Asia trip. And there will be more to tackle in the next few days.

Interestingly, we found most false claims and out-of-context videos originated on Twitter in English (which is not that popular in Taiwan) and some on Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter). A fair amount of falsehoods first appeared in the English language. 

As more and more claims and images regarding this news event would likely appear in the coming days in your countries, we would like to share a digest of what we have been monitoring. 

July 29-Pelosi departed for her Asia trip. Whether her trip included a stop in Taiwan remained mysterious. 

July 30-China held live-fire military drills in waters near Pingtan Island.

TFC’s Fact-check: Videos purporting to be China holding a live-fire military drill in the Taiwan Strait started to circulate on Twitter. However, the viral video shows the drill held by Taiwan in Matsu on Nov 6, 2020. 


July 30 (- today)

1) Massive Videos allegedly showed dozens of tanks and other armored vehicles and equipment gathering in Fujian Province. 

2) Another similar claim that appeared on Aug 2 said the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) was deployed in Xiamen, which is just 5 km across the water from the Taiwanese outlying Island.

3) Posts claiming that US warships near/ military combat aircraft flew over Taiwan to guard Pelosi’s visit appeared on Twitter and Telegram.

TFC’s Fact-check: A fake Twitter account impersonated Yahoo Japan, claiming that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's aircraft was brought down over the Taiwan Strait. 


9:30 PM (GMT +8), Aug 2- Pelosi arrived in Taiwan

We will continue monitoring the situation and update our work here.


Image: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, right, and Legislative Yuan Deputy Speaker Tsai Chi-chang arrive for a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)