China has demanded that Malaysia immediately share the satellite data on the basis of which Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday night that the missing flight MH370 had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.
Malaysian ambassador to China, Datuk Iskandar Bin Sarudin was called to the foreign ministry late on Monday where the demand was put forward to him by the Chinese deputy foreign minister, Xie Hangsheng.
“We demand the Malaysian side to make clear the specific basis on which they come to this judgement," Xie said during an urgent meeting with Sarudin, official news agency Xinhua said in a report published early Tuesday.
Xia demanded the Malaysian side to provide all information and evidence related to the analysis of satellite data, the report said.
There were 154 Chinese passengers among the 239 passengers on board flight MH370 Malaysian airlines flight. The flight was on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur but ended up thousands of miles away in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean.
Razak’s statement on Monday triggered hysterical reactions among the family members and relatives of the passengers in a Beijing hotel where they have been put up since the flight vanished on March 8. Many were angry at Malaysian authorities and the airlines for not sharing information at a regular basis.
Keeping the emotions of Chinese citizens in mind, Xie urged Malaysia to continue all “the relevant work including search and rescue for the missing plane”.
The Chinese diplomat emphasised that the search and rescue work must not stop at the moment.
During the meeting with Sarudin, Xie said China pays great attention to Malaysia's announcement that the missing plane ended in the Indian Ocean.
“We have noticed that the Malaysian side said it will make further elaboration on related details,” Xie said.
China had been critical of Malaysian efforts to coordinate the search and rescue mission for the missing aircraft, urging Kuala Lumpur everyday to step up the pace and to share information on a regular basis.
Beijing also dispatched a working group comprising members of various ministries to Kuala Lumpur to coordinate with the Malaysian authorities and provide help to the Chinese family members waiting in Kuala Lumpur.
The Xinhua report quoted Chinese maritime authorities as saying late Monday night that China will send more vessels to the waters of the southern Indian Ocean to search and salvage wreckage of Malaysia Airline MH370. China has already sent some six vessels to the area where two Chinese IL-76 aircraft are scouring the rough seas for the missing plane, the report said.