Chinese net users have expressed sympathy for the families of 153 Chinese citizens who were on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing in March 2014, after it was announced on Tuesday that the search for the aircraft had been suspended indefinitely.
“The Australian-led underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been suspended indefinitely, the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments said in a joint statement on Tuesday,” China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.
It said that despite almost three years of “scouring the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Boeing 777 jetliner, no new evidence was found in the official 120,000-square kilometre search zone”.
One internet user wrote: “The whole world has given up. The victims’ family members would never give up.” Another said: “Three years have gone by so fast.”
Yet another user recollected events from three years ago: “I remember the wife who was waiting for her husband. I felt so heartbroken when I read about her.”
Surprisingly, there were not many comments from the families of Chinese citizens reported missing in the incident that shocked the world. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the government was censoring comments about the decision to suspend the search for the airliner that had a total of 239 crew and passengers on board.
“All the governments know the truth, but there must be something they want to hide,” said one user of Weibo, China’s Twitter.
In the days after the flight went missing, angry relatives of Chinese passengers had marched through the streets of Beijing and clashed with police during a rare public protest in the heart of the Chinese capital.
There was some criticism of the decision to suspend the search, with Voice370, an organisation for families of the missing, calling it “irresponsible”.
“In our view, extending the search to the new area defined by the experts is an inescapable duty owed to the flying public in the interest of aviation safety,” the organisation said in a statement.