4 December 2023

False: Video shows dead fish found in Huizhou in 2021, not in Taiwan after China’s military drills

The fish kill reportedly took place at Shuangyue Bay in Guangdong in November 2021. It has nothing to do with the recent Chinese military exercise near Taiwan following the visit of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


A video clip shared on Twitter on Aug. 5 claims to show numerous fish found dead on a beach after China conducted military drills in areas surrounding Taiwan. The same video was also shared by other tweets (here and here) and implied that the drills ended abruptly because of the fish kill.

Another version of the claim also says China’s military exercise caused the fish kill in the video. Together, these posts have been retweeted 228 times and have 1,246 likes as of this writing.

The claims are false, however. The video shows dead fish found on a beach at Shuangyue Bay in Huizhou City in Guangdong in 2021.

Image search in Baidu led to this article published on a Chinese website on Nov. 5, 2021, which included a news photo showing a similar-looking infrastructure that appears in the video clip.

Annie Lab also found this video posted on Yahoo News on the same day about the fish kill in Huizhou, which also featured identical buildings and mountain ridge contours in the background.

Comparison of the viral video and the Yahoo video report. Both show the same buildings and the mountain behind the beach.

Using the keywords “fish kill Huizhou in Guangdong Province” on YouTube, we found another video clip very similar to the version used in the misleading posts.

Aside from the buildings and the mountain, the first 15 seconds of this video appear to show the same two women walking on the shore in the misleading post. One wears a white hat and the other a pink jacket, the latter holding what looks like a red bucket.

Both videos show the same pair of beachgoers carrying the red bucket.

According to local news reports, the Huidong County Natural Resources Bureau in the city said the fish kill may have been caused by a lack of oxygen.

The Chinese military began its exercises in six zones surrounding Taiwan on Aug. 4 following the visit of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the territory on Aug. 2.