China is reportedly not satisfied with the Malaysian government's indication that flight MH370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean at a remote location west of Perth.
With 153 of the 227 passengers on board the flight being Chinese, as it took off on its intended path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, China says it wants Malaysia to provide evidence to substantiate its assertion.
Liu Ying, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, toldE&T during a telephone interview that Malaysia's official statement by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak – given on March 25 - without providing supporting evidence has sparked fury in Beijing.
Malaysia announced the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean killing all aboard after having received results of a satellite data analysis performed by London-based operator Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAB).
At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Razak said that using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation such as this, they have been able to shed more light on MH370's flight path: “Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and AAB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean west of Perth”.
The Chinese government wants Malaysia to hand over the satellite data analysis from which these conclusion were drawn.
China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui is expected to leave for Kuala Lumpur to find out more about the data analysis.
In response, Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said a high-level team would also go to Beijing to explain matters to China and to share information with relatives of those who were on board.
Hussein has already caused tension between Malaysia and China, when he reminded journalists during a daily briefing in Sepang that the first Chinese satellite images suggested that the plane may have gone down in the South China Sea. “It made us detract from the search and was found to be negative,” he said.
View a series of infographics about the search for missing flight MH370