Hyderabad: A short video clip showing a group of soldiers from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) crying while singing their military song has created a buzz on social media in the past few days.
The incident was reported by Taiwanese, Thai, Australian, and Indian media organisations. It has also been shared widely on social media by users from countries that have strongly opposed China.
The media reports and social media posts claimed that the video was shot while the new recruits were being sent to the Sino-Indian border and they were crying in fear for their life. The news reports from TaiwanNews.com.tw, OzVoice.org, and other websites claimed that the video is true but quoted social media accounts of facebook.com/ZaiduHamid.BC, twitter.com/waynescene, and twitter.com/Michael90656953.
The Taiwan News article is based on a Facebook post by Pakistani comedian Zaid Hamid posted on 19 September and another tweet by Michael90656953 made the same day.
The Indian media picked up the story published by the Taiwan News and it spread like wildfire.
The claim is FALSE.
The Taiwan News, which was the primary source for the flood of articles and posts about the crying PLA recruits, said that the footage was originally posted on the WeChat page of Fuyang City Weekly (website: fynews.net) on 17 September but was soon deleted. It said that the original post showed 10 fresh PLA recruits from Fuyang city in Yingzhou district of Anhui province in China.
The screenshot of the original post is here:
The video that was deleted by the Fuyang City Weekly was uploaded from another account on Weibo.com on 17 September.
The video and the Chinese text claims that the first batch of 10 new PLA recruits from Fuyang city in Yingzhou district of Anhui province are bidding farewell to their parents as they head to the barracks. They are singing the military songs 'Green flowers in the army' and 'Go home when you celebrate work'.
According to the Fuyang City Weekly, the conscription work of the Yingzhou district started on 1 August and 275 youth from the district enlisted in the army after examinations, tests, and training. It said that the PLA soldiers were crying after bidding farewell to their parents and were on their way to Fuyang railway station.
We compared the photos published by the Fuyang City Weekly and the viral video and observed that the persons in both were the same.
Also, the Facebook user, ZaiduHamid.BC, has claimed that all his posts are fake. In fact, the user mocks the anti-Indian Pakistani politician, Zaid Hamid, and most of his followers are Indians. After he posted the video, he had, in a post, cursed the media for calling Zaid Hamid a Pakistani comedian.
On the other hand, the Chinese media has published elaborate posts explaining to their readers how Taiwan is using the rift between China and India to demoralise the Chinese people and the PLA. They said that the media in Taiwan and India are quoting one another as sources for their articles to demean the Chinese army and its soldiers.
Hence, the claim that the viral video shows Chinese soldiers crying as they were sent to the Indo-China border is FALSE. They are new PLA recruits who are bidding their parents farewell and leaving home to report for duty.