The tweet, which implied China copied the United States, has more than 500 shares and 2,000 likes as of this writing. The Facebook post has over 1,000 likes and 100 comments.
However, the claim is false. The image actually shows two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, not Fujian.
Through a keyword search, Annie Lab found a Reddit post with a satellite image of Newport News Naval Shipyard featuring what appears to be the two vessels in the image in question.
We learned that the shipyard in Newport News, a city in Virginia, is run by Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, the largest military shipbuilding company in the U.S.
According to its official website, the company is the “sole designer and builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy.”
With this information and through Google Earth Pro, we found a satellite image that is identical to the one used in the tweet. The same image was also available on Google Maps.
We have then gone through images and videos of the shipyard taken between Nov. 1 and 30 on the internet and found a photo posted by the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) showing U.S. Navy carriers Gerald R. Ford and John F. Kennedy docked at the Newport News Shipbuilding on Nov. 12, 2021, for repairs.
We compared the USNI photo with the Google Earth satellite image.
We are certain that the two vessels in the viral image are the Ford and Kennedy aircraft carriers.
We also found a Google Earth Pro satellite image of the Fujian captured on Oct. 8 this year (below).
News broadcast by CCTV 13 about the Fujian on Sept. 23 also shows the aircraft carrier.
The Fujian’s launch is considered a naval milestone in China.
As a fact-checking organization, Annie Lab cannot determine whether or not the design was “copied” as implied in the tweet, but we can confirm that the image shows two U.S. aircraft carriers and not the Chinese warship.