Beijing: China will send a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur to seek more information on the mysterious crash of a Malaysian airliner even as Beijing today demanded the handing over of the satellite data that showed the plane “ended” in the Indian Ocean.
Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui will head for Kuala Lumpur soon to get more information on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – carrying 239 people, 154 of whom were Chinese, an official announcement said.
The decision came as scores of angry relatives of the passengers staged protests near the Malaysian Embassy here over Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement that the plane “ended” its journey in the Indian Ocean.
The relatives, wearing matching T-shirts, chanted: “we want the truth”.
Their banners read: “Mum, Dad, without you what will I do?” and “We want the truth from Malaysia”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry last night summoned the Malaysian Ambassador here demanding more details that led to their determination of the crash.
Replying to questions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said “we have called on the Malaysian side to provide evidence that support that conclusion”.
The government has sent officials to provide legal aide to the families to deal with issues of compensation expected to come up later.
Questions are, however, being raised why Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has not visited the relatives of the passengers, unlike his predecessor Wen Jiabao.
Hong said top government and ruling Communist Party officials were constantly in touch with the kin of the passengers apprising them of the steps being taken by the Chinese government.
The search for the plane which was halted today due to bad weather by the Australian government is expected to resume tomorrow.
China has sent some six vessels to the area where two Chinese IL-76 aircraft are scouring the rough seas for the missing plane.
The MH370 went missing about an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing on March 8