As ASEAN leaders wrapped up a three-day summit in Indonesia in September 2023, a video viewed hundreds of thousands of times in Tagalog-language social media posts falsely claimed China had been kicked out of the bloc after the Philippines confronted it about the disputed South China Sea. China, however, has never been a member of the 10-nation association and remains an ASEAN dialogue partner. While Manila spoke of the need to counter “hegemonic ambitions” in the South China Sea at the summit, it did not threaten to exclude Beijing from future meetings. As of October 31, there are no credible news reports about China being excluded from ASEAN dialogues.
The eight-minute-long video was viewed more than 171,000 times after it was posted on YouTube here on September 7, 2023.
Its Tagalog-language title, written in all capitals, says: “China out of ASEAN! Everyone sided with PBBM! China extremely embarrassed! The whole world was shocked!”
“PBBM” refers to Philippine President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos.
The video shows clips of Marcos and China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang. The video also appears to show Li and Marcos speaking about the South China Sea at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting.
Tagalog-language narration on the video claims Marcos “cut off” the premier’s speech and threatened to stop Beijing from attending the next summit if it would not stop “reigning over the West Philippine Sea” — which is how Manila refers to South China Sea waters immediately to its west (archived link).
Beijing lays claims to most of the resource-rich and strategically important sea.
The video was shared as ASEAN leaders met in Indonesia for a three-day summit from September 5-7. The summit also included sessions with non-ASEAN member countries, including the United States and China.
In the months leading up to the summit, Philippine ships had been harassed several times by Chinese vessels in the disputed waterway, where other Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia also have claims.
ASEAN, however, has not kicked out China or excluded it from future meetings. There are no credible reports of the bloc doing so as of October 31, 2023.
The video used in the false post, purportedly showing the Philippine president challenging the Chinese premier about the South China Sea, uses footage from separate ASEAN meetings to give the false impression Manila “confronted” Beijing.
A reverse image search on Google using keyframes from the video found the clips of Marcos and China’s President Xi Jinping were taken from the Philippine leader’s state visit to China in January 2023.
Xi was not present at the most recent ASEAN summit in Indonesia.
The video is titled, “Bilateral Meeting with President Xi Jinping 01/04/2023”.
At the 53-second mark, the false video shows China’s premier speaking of the importance of avoiding a “new Cold War” when dealing with conflicts between countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
A reverse image search on Google using keyframes from this section of the video led to footage of the speech streamed live on the official YouTube channel of Indonesia’s presidential secretariat (archived link).
Premier Li’s speech runs from the video’s 16-minute, 38-seconds to its 18-minute, 27-seconds mark.
His speech is not interrupted at any point by the Philippine president.
The section of the false video that shows Marcos delivering a speech combines remarks he made at two separate meetings during the Indonesia summit.
While Marcos sought the support of ASEAN members in countering “hegemonic ambitions” in the South China Sea, he did not mention China.
Marcos raised his country’s opposition to the “militarisation of reclaimed features” and other attempted incursions within areas of the South China Sea that it claims.
Source: Fact Check