Taiwan has denied claims that it show down a Chinese fighter jet after video posted online showed alleged wreckage burning close to homes.
It is said that a Su-35 belonging to China’s air force crashed and exploded into flames near the city of Guilin in the southern province of Guangxi.
Neither China nor its state media has commented on the claim or video on social media which shows a large fire next to a building and smoke billowing from another spot nearby as locals rush around at the site.
There were claims Taiwan’s defence forces had shot down a Chinese fighter jet – without evidence to back them up – and Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence has said the allegations were “fake news”.
It was forced to respond after Twitter users alleged the jet was hit by fire after flying over the Taiwan Strait, which is more than 560 miles away from the alleged crash site, and South China Sea.
There were claims a fighter jet pilot was injured and being helped by locals in the aftermath.
Another clip showed a man on a stretcher being surrounded by people.
On Twitter, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence wrote: “In response to rumors online that claim a Chinese Su-35 fighter jet had been shot down by Taiwan air defense systems, #ROCAirForce would like to categorically state this is fake news.
“We urge netizens to not spread it and strongly condemn this malicious act.”
A notice on its website stated: “The Air Force Command solemnly refutes that this is false information and completely untrue.
“The Air Force Command pointed out that regarding people who intentionally create and spread untrue information online, (we) strongly condemn such malicious acts.
“The Air Force Command emphasised that in order to maintain airspace security, the headquarters will continue to closely monitor the conditions of the sea and airspace around the Taiwan Strait, and provide accurate information in a timely manner to prevent the spread of false information, and to avoid social unrest. We appeal citizens to rest assured.”
China has not commented on claims that one of its jets had crashed.
Many Twitter accounts and news websites in India, one of China’s rivals, were among the first to carry the allegations.
Other reports claimed that a technical malfunction may have been to blame.