Old Chinese state media clip reshared in misleading posts about India-China border clash in 2022

Copyright © AFP 2017-2023. All rights reserved.

A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times on social media posts alongside a misleading claim that it shows an injured soldier during a border clash between Indian and Chinese troops in northeastern India in December 2022. However, the clip has circulated in Chinese state media reports since at least February 2021, purportedly showing a clash between India and China at a different frontier in June 2020.

Warning: graphic images

The video of an injured Chinese soldier being given treatment was posted on Twitter on December 12, 2022. It has been viewed more than 36,000 times.

The tweet reads: "Around 100 Chinese soldiers were injured, while the number of injured soldiers of the Indian Army is less than 30. Today China must have understood in pure language Bharat mata ki jai Proud of you #IndianArmy #ArunachalPradesh #Tawang."

The 10-second clip circulated days after Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed at India’s northeastern bordering state of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9, 2022.

The clash left troops on both sides injured according to Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, AFP reported.

A military source told AFP that at least six Indian soldiers were injured, but China did not confirm any injuries.

The incident is thought to be the most serious on the nuclear-armed Asian giants' disputed frontier since 2020.

The clip was shared alongside a similar claim on Twitter and on Facebook.

However, the video has been circulating in Chinese state media reports about a deadly clash in June 2020 since at least February 2021.

State media clip

A combination of reverse image and keyword searches on Google found the corresponding footage published in this longer video titled "Military report" by Chinese-state media CCTV on February 19, 2021.

The video in the misleading posts can be seen from the CCTV video's eight-minute and one-second mark.

Just before this, a voiceover in Mandarin refers to a clash between Indian and Chinese troops at the border in June 2020 which left Chinese regiment commander Qi Fabao and several other soldiers injured.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (left) and the CCTV news report (right):


The video's Mandarin voiceover at this point translates to English as: "During the negotiation and fierce fight, Regimental Commander Qi Fabao led the way and was seriously injured".

While one injured Chinese soldier is seen being given treatment, another Chinese soldier can be heard saying in Mandarin, "Press it, press it, press the head".

On February 20, 2021, Chinese state-run English news channel CGTN published similar footage in this report about a lethal clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the contested Galwan Valley in June 2020.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (left) and the CGTN news report on YouTube (right):


The June 15 battle, reportedly fought with fists, clubs and rocks, was thought to be the first time troops have been killed on their frontier since 1975, marking a major deterioration in ties between the two Asian giants.

Qi Fabao, the Chinese regiment commander named in the CCTV and CGTN reports, was wounded in the clash but recovered. He later became a torchbearer at the Beijing Games in February 2022, angering India's top diplomat, AFP reported.

AFP has previously debunked false and misleading claims about the border dispute between China and India here, here and here.