VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video on China-Australia confrontation, Indonesia-PH military training MISLEADS


A video uploaded March 19 on YouTube and Facebook (FB) falsely implied that China and Australia had a military confrontation, and that Indonesian forces are training with Filipinos to prepare for war.

This misleading video appeared the same day an article by Aviation International News talked about a Chinese warship jamming GPS signals of Australian commercial aircraft.

VERAFIED: Video on China-Australia confrontation, Indonesia-PH military training MISLEADS

The title of a video posted by YouTube channel Terong Explained and FB page Lodss TV claimed:

CHINA AT AUSTRALIA NAGKAHARAP!! Barko Ng China GINAMITAN NG JAMMER Ang Eroplano Ng AUSTRALIA (China and Australia face each other! A Chinese ship used a jammer against Australia’s airplane!”

The nine-minute video actually talks about Australian flag carrier Qantas Airways implementing a new order to address VHF interference from stations claiming to represent the Chinese military. Qantas aircraft also reported instances of GPS jamming from Chinese warships operating on Australia’s northwest shelf.

Qantas’ policy change appeared after the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations issued a March 2 safety bulletin about airline and military aircraft being contacted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea.

To support its claim of a confrontation between Australia and China, the video showed multiple videos of fighter jets while a narrator read the Aviation International News article in Filipino.

The video’s introduction also claimed:

At puwersa ng Indonesia padating na sa Pilipinas para sa joint military drills. Dalawang bansa puspusan na rin ang preparasyon para sa darating na digmaan (And Indonesian forces are coming to the Philippines for joint military drills. The two countries’ preparation for war are in full swing).”

Forty Indonesian and Filipino soldiers will hold a bilateral training activity at Camp Tecson, San Miguel, Bulacan from May 21 to 30, the Philippine Army announced on March 16.

The training activity aims to bolster military tactics and strategy, and strengthen partnerships between the two countries’ armed forces, it explained. A similar bilateral exercise was held in Indonesia in April last year.

To support the claim, the video’s narrator read parts of a March 18 Manila Times report about the Philippines’ two separate military training with Indonesia and Australia scheduled this year.

FB page Lodss TV’s video (created on March 10) got a total of 77,229 interactions, while the video by Terong Explained (created on Oct. 5, 2015) acquired 56,741 interactions.


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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)