FACT CHECK: No, China Did Not Sink A U.S. Coast Guard Ship In The South China Sea

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on YouTube claims Chinese warships sunk a U.S. Coast Guard ship in the South China Sea.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence for this claim.

Fact Check:

The Philippines and China are feuding over a grounded Filipino naval ship on the Second Thomas Shoal, according to Reuters. The Philippines accused the Chinese Coast Guard of blocking resupply vessels, the outlet reported.

Social media users have been sharing a YouTube video claiming that Chinese warships attacked and destroyed a U.S. Coast Guard ship in the South China Sea while citing an alleged Reuters report. The video’s caption reads, “War begins! China warships destroys US coast guard in south china sea.”

This claim, however, lacks evidence. If Chinese warships had attacked the U.S. Coast Guard in the South China Sea, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Neither the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense nor the Department of Homeland Security have released statements about an alleged attack in the South China Sea.

The alleged Reuters report does not appear on Reuters.com nor under Kirsty Needham’s author page. A wider internet search also did not yield any results for the alleged Reuters report. The USCGS Munro, the vessel mentioned in the video, was not anywhere near the South China Sea, having returned from a patrol near the Bering Sea in March 2023. (RELATED: Nikki Haley Claims China Has The Largest Navy In The World)

Rappler was the first outlet to debunk this claim. A U.S. Coast Guard ship, the Stratton, sailed through the Taiwan Strait in June 2023, according to The Associated Press.

Check Your Fact reached out to Reuters and the Coast Guard for comment and will update this piece if a response is received.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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