China on Tuesday announced it will dispatch a senior diplomat as special envoy to Malaysia as it continued to build pressure on Kuala Lumpur to share evidence that the missing MH370 flight had plunged into a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean.
“Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered here Monday to send a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur to deal with the matter of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui will head for Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible as the envoy,” a terse statement quoted by the Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday evening.
The report said that the president who is away on trip to Europe has issued instructions to “relevant Chinese government agencies help Malaysia and other parties involved carry on the search for the ill-fated flight” which had 154 Chinese passengers among the 239 on board.
China’s reaction to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s statement on Monday that the flight with has been that of apparent disbelief coated in diplomacy.
Though foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei did not say it directly at the daily press conference on Tuesday, it is possible that Malaysia did not share the information about the possible crashing of the aircraft with China before publicly announcing it.
Beijing’s first reaction to the Razak’s statement was to summon the Malaysian envoy late on Monday night and demand proof of the crash from him.
“We demand the Malaysian side to make clear the specific basis on which they come to this judgement," deputy foreign minister, Xie Hangsheng said during an urgent meeting with ambassador Datuk Iskandar Bin Sarudin Sarudin, official news agency Xinhua said in a report published early on Tuesday.
Xia demanded the Malaysian side to provide all information and evidence related to the analysis of satellite data, the report said.
Spokesperson Hong continued the tone of aggression during the daily presser, saying China hopes that the Malaysian side can provide all the information that led to the conclusion that flight MH370 had crashed into the sea.
"We are highly concerned with Malaysia's conclusion, and have demanded full information and the evidence that support the conclusion," Hong said.
“We paid high attention to the Malaysian side’s conclusions and called on them to provide us with evidence and information that can support the conclusion,” Hong said.
He avoided answering why Premier Le Keqiang hadn’t yet visited the grieving and angry family members of the Chinese passengers, only saying that since the flight went missing the Communist Party of China and government were deeply concerned about the fate of the flight and the passengers.
He said officials from departments affiliated to the State Council, or China’s cabinet, had visited the families in the hotels they were staying and briefed them about the efforts made by the government.
Hong added that a number of Chinese ships and aircraft were continuing the “search and rescue” missions.
"It is an international search. China hopes international organizations and countries will provide Malaysia and China with valuable information to help us conduct better targeted search work," he said.