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Did Someone in Taiwan Try To Start a World War?

Sept. 5, 2020 (EIRNS)—Social media in Taiwan yesterday went viral with a video of a crashed Chinese Su-35 fighter jet, and a second video of a supposedly injured pilot on the ground, with a claim that Taiwan had shot down the Chinese jet. The story was picked up in India, which is in the midst of military tension with China.

Events in Sarajevo in 1914 are worth recalling, with military preparations in advanced stages around both China and Russia. While the Taiwan government was quick to deny the story and denounce the perpetrators of the hoax, the point made that with the U.S. war mobilization being openly pursued by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, a war could be sparked by a real or fake event.

The Taiwan Defense Department issued stern warning via Twitter: “In response to rumors online that claim a Chinese Su-35 fighter jet had been shot down by Taiwan air defense systems, #ROCAirForce would like to categorically state this is fake news. We urge netizens to not spread it and strongly condemn this malicious act.”

Forbes, in reporting the story, concludes: “Presumably, the social media frenzy will fade, though it would be surprising to see conspiracy theories arise that claim China is ‘hiding the truth.’ However, the truth is that any event today can be misinterpreted—even for the most innocent of reasons—and yet quickly broadcast and rebroadcast over social media.

“And that can have very dangerous consequences.”

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