Hindi news channel Republic Bharat broadcast a news segment showing visuals from China and purported "elite forces". Republic Bharat claimed that these military personnel were planning a coup and had gathered outside Xi Jinping's residence.
The channel claimed it had exclusive footage from the alleged 'coup'. The 'coup' was discussed by guests on the news segment. The news channel showed a segment claiming how the alleged 'coup' would lead to Jinping being removed from the head of the government with the CCP retaining power.
The Republic Bharat news report showed visuals from China's Zhongnanhai or Xinhua Gate claiming that reports are arriving of 'elite forces being deployed at Xinhua Gate, where Xi Jinping resides'.
The tickers in the visuals read as, 'Is the Chinese army taking over the government?' and 'Is the Chinese army overturning the government?'. The news segment has discussions from G.D Bakshi, a retired Indian Army officer and Abhishek Kapoor, executive editor, Republic Bharat.
The Logical Indian fact check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false.The visuals were shared by a Der Spiegel journalist, Georg Fahrion. The same visuals were shared with a sarcastic tone meant to mock the rumors of a coup in China.
We conducted a keyword search about a possible coup in China. We came across reports by Hindustan Times and BusinessToday.
The Hindustan Times report published on September 26, 2022, claims of the president being under house arrest have been dismissed by experts. The reports states that there is a strong possibility that the Chinese premier is under quarantine under the country's strict zero-Covid policy.
The report published by Hindustan Times states that as per the Beijing Capital International Airport's website some flights were cancelled, several others were scheduled, slightly delayed, or had already landed. The report added that China's flight traffic has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. This could be a reason for the data showing less number of flights out of Beijing.
The BusinessToday report published on September 25, 2022, stated that the reports have no official confirmation from the Chinese Communist Party or the state media. Due to this and the updates being from anonymous and unverified users, experts remain confident that these rumours are false speculations.
In our keyword search across Twitter, we came across this thread by Georg Fahrion, a journalist with Der Spiegel. We noticed that the images used by Republic Bharat matched with those shared by Fahrion.
In Fahrion's tweets we noticed a dissonance between the terms used in the tweets and the visuals seen. In the second tweet in the thread, he talks about ''disguised elite paratroopers' which is a claim that seems ludicrous.
In the third tweet, a picture of what seems to be Chinese citizens at Tiananmen Square is captioned stating that these people are 'thugs in plainclothes', an unsubstantiated claim which seems to satirise the claims of a coup in China.
In the final tweet in the thread, the satire becomes readily apparent as the image shows an old Chinese couple and is captioned as 'reinforcements for the coup arriving in armored personnel carriers.'
It becomes clear that the Der Spiegel journalist is putting a sarcastic spin on the images, exaggerating the normalcy seen in the visuals.
We came across another tweet from Fahrion after several users indicated that Republic Bharat was using his images and satirical tweets as a basis for reporting. Fahrion tweeted, "Since an Indian TV channel is now "reporting" on this thread, let me repeat: Two things are infinite, the universe and man's stupidity."
In our Fact Check, we found that the visuals were shared by a Der Spiegel journalist, Georg Fahrion. The same visuals were shared with a sarcastic tone meant to mock the rumors of a coup in China. Fahrion clarified that the visuals were sarcastic in nature while criticising Indian TV news channel. Thus, we found that the viral claim by Republic Bharat is false.
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