News / Asia

Search for Missing MH370 Could Be Costliest

Captain Flt. Lt. Tim McAlevey of the Royal New Zealand Air Force flies a P-3 Orion in search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 over the Indian Ocean, April 11, 2014.
Captain Flt. Lt. Tim McAlevey of the Royal New Zealand Air Force flies a P-3 Orion in search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 over the Indian Ocean, April 11, 2014.
Shannon Van Sant
— The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 may be the costliest in aviation history, with dozens of countries contributing resources to the search.  For China, finding the plane brings benefits beyond helping the passengers’ relatives.  

The four-week-long search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 is stretching countries’ military resources with planes, ships, underwater listening devices and satellites deployed at a cost of some $44 million so far.  

Christian Le Miere of the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates that China alone has spent as much as $15 million in the past month to help find flight 370.

“Using rough calculations of the cost of a warship being at sea is about $100,000 a day, and the cost of a significant aircraft being about $10,000-$15,000 an hour, then you can probably get to an estimate of between $10 and $15 million,” Le Miere said.

Searchers are scouring the southern Indian Ocean for any debris from the missing plane and if they do find any wreckage -- efforts to retrieve the plane will likely be costlier with the deployment of submersibles to the ocean floor.

“No one can spend money indefinitely or forever,” said Ramon Navaratnam, a Malaysian economist and chairman of the Center for Public Policy Studies in Kuala Lumpur.

But searching forever is what countries have vowed to do, with Malaysia saying they will never give up and China saying that it will spare no effort in the hunt for the plane.

Alexander Neil, a senior fellow with the International Institute of Strategic Studies, said China's role in the search process provides an opportunity for the Asian giant to exert influence well outside its borders.  

“It is reflective of China's growing capability to project power way beyond what is known as the first island chain, which is the chain of islands all the way from the Korean peninsula down to the Philippines and Malaysia," he said.

China has deployed 18 ships, eight helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft.  Neil said the Indian Ocean is an important place for China strategically to have a presence.

"I think it's also in tune with China's intent to protect its sea lanes across the Indian Ocean, across the Indonesia archipelago and the Malacca Straits," he said.

Australia and Malaysia have deemed the high cost of the search irrelevant.  As for China, analysts say there may be many returns for its investment in the search operation.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid