Video shows game simulation, not missile attack by the US and the Philippines on China

Video shows game simulation, not missile attack by the US and the Philippines on China

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The misleading video uses a clickbait title and thumbnail to falsely claim that China’s capital was under attack for 24 hours by the joint forces of the Philippines and the United States.

Claim: The combined armed forces of the Philippines and the United States launched a 24-hour missile attack on China’s capital Beijing.

Rating: FALSE

Why we checked this: The claim was made in the title and thumbnail of a YouTube video live-streamed on July 2, which had 544,000 views, 3,900 likes and 617 comments at the time of this writing.

The title of the video is: “Happened today! The capital Beijing was hit by a US-Philippine missile attack for 24 hours.”

The thumbnail shows an image of the Great Hall of the People in Xicheng, Beijing, ablaze with a crowd of people running away.

The conclusion: An attack of this magnitude would have been reported by major news agencies, but reputable news sites are not reporting on the alleged attack on Beijing. The defense ministries of the Philippines and China have not issued statements confirming the claim.

The eleven-hour-long video does not show real footage of the attack on Beijing, but rather excerpts from the open-world multiplayer sandbox game Arma 3 by Czech game developer Bohemia Interactive.

The description of the video states: “This is an Arma 3 gameplay video. SIMULATION ONLY, NOT REAL LIFE!” However, several comments on the video suggest that some users believe the video to be real, while others criticize the uploader of the video for scaremongering.


Rising tensions: The video was released amid ongoing tensions between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea. On June 29, Chinese vessels briefly blocked a Philippine Coast Guard rescue mission as it came to the aid of a Filipino fishing boat near Bajo de Masinloc. The two countries’ militaries also clashed in an incident at Ayungin Reef in June that left a Filipino soldier with his thumb severed.

China has repeatedly rejected the 2016 arbitration ruling that invalidated its extensive claims in the South China Sea. Amid mounting incidents of Chinese aggression, the US has reiterated its “ironclad commitment” to support its ally, but the Philippines has said it would prefer to conduct operations alone.

Fact-checked: Rappler has published several fact checks refuting claims about alleged attacks and confrontations with China:

– Katarina Ruflo/

Katarina Ruflo is an intern at Rappler. She is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Foreign Service at the University of San Carlos, Cebu.

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