In video footage circulated online, flames and smoke can be seen emanating from the landing site of a Chinese military jet. The jet was claimed to have crashed in Guangxi after flying over the Taiwan Strait. In the video, the pilot is seen to be motionless on a stretcher as members of the public gather around him.
Amid whirling speculation, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has been forced to release a statement denying they were responsible for the crash.
Describing the rumours as a “malicious act”, the department described the video as “fake news”.
In a statement, the department said: “In response to rumours 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.”
China has yet to confirm whether a plane crash even happened in the first place, let alone the cause of it.
Tensions between China and Taiwan have soured rapidly in recent months with the autonomous island warning the Chinese airforce has repeatedly violated its airspace.
Located off China’s coast, Taiwan is seen as part of the mainland, with the Communist Party vowing to one day reclaim the island.
In order to protect its independence, the US has a defense treaty with the island whereby it well sell arms to the Taiwanese military.
In July, the US State Department approved a surface to air missile deal with Taiwan.
The package will be an upgrade on the current Patriot surface-to-air missile system currently used.