News / Asia

Plane Mystery Strains China-Malaysia Ties

China's special envoy Zhang Yesui (C) leaves after a meeting with Malaysian government officials and authorities working on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur, March 26, 2014.
China's special envoy Zhang Yesui (C) leaves after a meeting with Malaysian government officials and authorities working on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur, March 26, 2014.
William Ide
A special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Malaysia's Prime Minister Wednesday to press for more information about the fate of missing flight MH370. As public anger grows in China over Malaysia's handling of the search and mystery of just what happened to the plane, Beijing is stepping up its demands on Kuala Lumpur. Its unclear what broader impact the tragedy might have.
 
During his meeting with Malaysian officials, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui called for unremitting efforts in the search for the missing plane. Much like the families of those on board, the Chinese government has repeatedly demanded more information from Malaysian officials in the wake of the crash.
 
Those demands have grown increasingly this week since Malaysia announced the plane had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.
 
A family member of a passenger on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 cries as he shouts slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, March 25, 2014.A family member of a passenger on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 cries as he shouts slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, March 25, 2014.
x
A family member of a passenger on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 cries as he shouts slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, March 25, 2014.
A family member of a passenger on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 cries as he shouts slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, March 25, 2014.
​Chinese families rallied outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing Tuesday, demanding that Kuala Lumpur tell them the truth. Online, Chinese called for a boycott of Malaysian goods and travel to the Southeast Asian nation, which until now has been a popular destination for Chinese tourists.
 
Travel agencies say that bookings to Malaysia have been falling severely since the plane disappeared with many looking at other destinations for vacation.
 
Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 extended search area as of March 26, 2014Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 extended search area as of March 26, 2014
x
Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 extended search area as of March 26, 2014
Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 extended search area as of March 26, 2014
China's Foreign Ministry has also demanded that Kuala Lumpur show it all of the data that was used to make Monday's determination and has repeatedly pressed Malaysian authorities for correct information.
 
Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at the City University of Hong Kong, says the Chinese government is facing a difficult balancing act by being firm with Malaysia, but also sensitive to the needs of family members. He said that China's sending of an envoy and Malaysia's sending of a delegation to Beijing to meet with families here is part of that process.
 
"Certainly the Chinese authorities have to respond favorably to the demands to the grievances of the victims' group. However Malaysia has been maintaining good relations with China and Chinese leaders have no intention to unduly embarrass the Malaysian authorities," said Cheng.
 
On Wednesday, Malaysian officials met with the families of those on board at a hotel in Beijing and attempted to explain the data that shows the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean. They also took questions, one of which was whether they thought relations between the two countries would remain friendly.
 
Zhang Jie, an Asia Pacific security analyst in Beijing says that although emotions have been running high, those feelings are likely to cool over time.

"The way the Malaysian government has handled this airplane accident has created some negative consequences," Zhang said. "Maybe because of their attitude or because of the lack of technical skills of Malaysia. Whether that will have an impact on relations between the two nations remains to be seen."
 
"I don't think the incident will have much impact on the bilateral relationship although for a little bit of time there may well be some impact on the number of tourists going to Malaysia which has been a favorite destination with Chinese tourists, I don't think a boycott of Malaysian goods and so on will have any serious lasting effect," said Joseph Cheng.
 
Malaysia was the first ASEAN nation to recognize China and Beijing is the country's biggest trading partner. The two are looking to strengthen security ties as well and boosting military cooperation and trade even further. Last year, the two signed a treaty that raised relations to that of a "comprehensive strategic partnership."

And while China and Malaysia have disagreements over territory in the South China Sea, analysts say that relations on a whole are good compared to Beijing's ties with other nations in the region.
 
  • The Bluefin 21, the Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), is hoisted back on board the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield after a successful buoyancy test in the southern Indian Ocean as part of the continuing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, April 4, 2014.
  • Flight Lieutenant Stephen Graham monitors a TAC station onboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, near the coast of Western Australia, April 4, 2014.
  • Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force Commander Hidetsugu Iwamasa speaks to the press in front of one of their P-3C Orion aircraft currently at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth, Australia, April 4, 2014.
  • Relatives of Chinese passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 pray in a prayer room, Beijing, China, April 4, 2014.
  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak tour RAAF Base Pearce, near Perth, April 3, 2014.
  • Steve Wang a representative from the committee for relatives of Chinese passengers onboard Flight MH370 talks to journalists after a closed door meeting with Malaysian officials via teleconference in Beijing, April 2, 2014.
  • A crew member sits in the cockpit of a Royal New Zealand Air Force patrol aircraft as it continues searching in the southern Indian Ocean for Flight MH370, April 1, 2014.
  • Koji Kubota of the Japan Coast Guard keeps watch while flying in the search zone for debris from Flight MH370, April 1, 2014.
  • A Buddhist monk welcomes Chinese relatives of passengers on Flight MH370 as they arrive to pray at a Buddhist temple in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, March 31, 2014.
  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the international forces currently based in Perth searching for Flight MH370 during his visit to RAAF Base Pearce, March 31, 2014.

 

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JT from: USA
March 27, 2014 9:12 PM
It is unbelievable about this situation...Are there no airplanes that can be refueled in midair, are there no drones that can fly over this grid area? Why not drop some cheap buoys with cameras mounted and bump into debri? Do any satellites have telescoping abilities? Surely, there's some one with an smart idea of getting photos of this debri, if not able to get a piece of it!!!
Where are the smart, innovative folks?????

by: Mark from: Virginia
March 26, 2014 1:27 PM
In a time of grief, even the most rational and level-headed can become unappreciative and selfish monsters, acting out from extreme emotion. Do not forget, that other nationalities lost loved ones on that flight, and while China lost the most, they are not alone in that loss. Even one death is a tragedy.
No ones knows what happened on that flight, or where it went or how it got there, and this, after a 26-Nation effort, using every resource at their collective disposal, spent thousands of man-hours searching. The greatest tragedy to come from this, is a deterioration of relations between Malaysia and China to the point of open hatred and anger between its people.

by: PaulusSmith from: Ireland
March 26, 2014 12:55 PM
In the difficult times China has made the situation more complicated for Malaysia . Either it from technical or the nature of security to protect from the data sets to China may spy on .... by the doubting of possible hacking from who the hell did it to the airplane and They might still trying to analyse them . The nature of cut of handshake communications and elevated to 45,000 feet is the shown of problems in the airplane .....They might lost control and had been blind flying and that's why they were flying into a nowhere location in hope might save the people on board and them self.... But also other possibilities to find until the black box could be recovered .....

China should use better manners and languages into the helps other than twisted and spying the territories and acting like a macho man with some phony satellite graphics ......and educate people not to do unnecessary aggressive non-sense too . They airplane hasn't been found yet and none of thing or people found yet ..... and if they all lost at the ocean can any one revive them or do thing better than now situation -......IMHO

by: Robert Tubere
March 26, 2014 12:08 PM
To China and the people of China: you know you tried searching for the plane; you know the difficulty involved. You tried and failed. Quit barking at Malaysia. They faced the same difficulties as you. If you think you can do better, go find the plane yourself and quit bellyaching.
In Response

by: Ken from: China
March 27, 2014 10:39 PM
140 lives lost! Do u have any idea of what this means? Imagine that if these 140 lives were Americans, what would Washington have done to Malaysia? I think it would not merely be complaining with words.
It will be action, I think.

by: Matt Brunnabend
March 26, 2014 11:43 AM
I think EVERYONE is having trust issues with Malaysia at this point...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs