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Malaysia Airlines flight 370
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Flight MH370

China hits back at US reports criticising Beijing over MH370 search

US media reports accusing Beijing of dragging its feet spark angry response

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 April, 2014, 3:28am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 April, 2014, 8:15am
 

China has angrily hit back at mainstream US media that accused Beijing of dragging its feet in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.

The Beijing-based Global Times defended the nation's stance yesterday, after foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Tuesday called a Monday report in The New York Times an irresponsible and pointless provocation.

The report said: "The mission has clearly been a prime opportunity for the Chinese government to demonstrate its determination and technological abilities to its domestic audience and to improve on its response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year, which was widely criticised as late and tepid."

Another report by The Wall Street Journal the following day also highlighted China's "reluctance" to partner with others, citing delays in sharing information about detecting suspected ping signals, as well as its absence at regional search and rescue co-operation forums before MH370 went missing.

On April 5, Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 announced it had detected pulse signals, while Shanghai party mouthpiece Jiefang Daily posted photos of the Chinese search team using rather rudimentary equipment more suitable for shallow water search.

Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield detected two further signals near the same area. They were later ruled out as relating to the plane. According to the Times, analysts believed the false alarm "served to distract and delay the search effort".

More than a month after the plane disappeared on March 8, families of the 239 on board - 154 of whom were Chinese - remain in the dark as to the whereabouts of their loved ones.

As military assets are at stake, some of the 26 countries working together have been reluctant to share all their data.

A multitude of countries, including China, Malaysia and Australia, have reportedly seen satellite images and spotted debris possibly relating to the missing aircraft.

Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said it was "common practice" for countries to withhold sensitive digital data they receive until the data is analysed and publicly announced.

"It's a pity the countries have been unable to co-ordinate. Even the news reporting mechanism is a mess," Li said. "All of this has delayed the search."

But he was hopeful all the countries involved would come up with a more efficient system of collaboration.

Shanghai-based military expert Professor Ni Lexiong said no country was to blame for slowing down the investigation. "China has always stressed that its technology lags the US' by at least 30 years, especially those technologies used in the military sector," Ni said. "This incident has showed the world that there is a big gap between China and the West. China knew of its weakness before taking part in the investigation, but it went ahead because more than half of the missing passengers are Chinese."

Additional reporting by Teddy Ng and Minnie Chan

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This article is now closed to comments

andreaswagner
The whole Chinese search effort only had a domestic political purpose, and has been mostly counterproductive so far. You can fool the home front, but you can't fool the rest of the world.
I Gandhi
While China's search for the missing MH370 is less than spectacular, the US equipment on board the Ocean Shield have been abysmal with the Dolphin not working at all. Whatever the situation, it looks like the search is in the wrong place anyway. There have been a lot of non-transparency and misinformation with regard to the search.
Truthwillout
Personally I thought China was slack in the beginning considering the number of nationals involved. Also puzzled by the signal they picked up wich was the right frequency but 100 miles away?
giggsy72
If there was only a handful of Chinese passengers on board that plane, China's response would have been minimal, to non-existant. Would have been exactly the same as when they were asked to join that Asian forum discussing collaborative search procedures for a plane lost at sea - "Thanks, but no thanks!".
There's a lot of chest-puffing and flag-waving going on here and the SCMP has been complicit in this. It became quite obvious that when comments were posted pointing this out, online stories were quickly revised. Shame.
Dai Muff
Funny, China never had any problem criticising OTHER countries involved in the search.
Formerly ******
Well, it seems that Ms. Hua is correct in her assessment of the NY Times. It's always and only irresponsible, as well as predictable, boring, and a propaganda arm of the U.S. Democratic party and other assorted left-wing wackos.
嗯,看來華女士是正確的在她的紐約時報 》 的評價。它總是和只有不負責任的以及可預測的、 無聊的和美國民主黨及其他宣傳手臂什錦左翼那些瘋子。
Hum-Balang
Still at it- fault finding before locating the debris or the blackbox, how much of this is a continuous instant Trial by Media? CNN's 24/7 coverage was to improve on their rating, so were they pandering to the instant gratification of the audience, for a real-time I-want-it-now satisfaction, more so than for the benefit of the passengers' families?
Should not the media keep a certain measured distance in all of their reports from day-1 that whatever they reported were interim, thus the readers and audience alike would be well cautioned to avoid concluding prematurely?
liukuei
Yes, the NY Times report on the assets of Wen Jiabao's family, for instance, was irresponsible, predictable, and boring. I nearly died of boredom reading it, too full of propaganda. I much prefer the Global Times; it so much more responsible, exciting, and so unpredictable!
Left wing people are wackos, yes. Except Chinese communists, of course!
andreaswagner
It is not a matter of how many ships involved. It is what you actually DO with them. Other than political window dressing that is. And what exactly did Malaysia do wrong with the limited information available? In hindsight everything is easy.
fullcircle
No country can send their sea assets into waters under the sovereignty of another. Much of the first week of search took place in the SC Sea, waters under the purview of Vietnam. On protocol, it was up to Malaysia to coordinate with Vietnam and reach out to other countries as Malaysia saw fit during the initial part of search, which turned out to be a confused affair. China can't just send ships unapproved/uninvited to an area of the ocean particularly when it's not part of the SCS which it is contending ownership over with the neighbours. Get your facts right, or maybe you're just a bigot.

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