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THE SEARCH FOR MH370

Chinese relatives in Beijing turn on Malaysia govt officials at angry meeting

Published on Mar 21, 2014 2:46 PM
 
Relatives of passengers from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 wait for new informations at a hotel in Beijing on March 21,2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Relatives of the Chinese passengers on board MH370 vented their fury on Friday in their first meeting in Beijing with Malaysian government officials, almost two weeks after the aircraft vanished.

The event began in angry fashion, with family members yelling at the group of political representatives and senior military officials to stand up when they were being introduced, rather than nodding while sitting down. "You have wasted so much time," shouted one anguished relative, his voice quivering.

Chinese citizens make up 153 of those on board Malaysia Airlines flight 370 - two-thirds of the total - and the meeting took place at a hotel where their loved ones have been waiting for news.

Australia released satellite photos of possible debris in the southern Indian Ocean on Thursday, but officials stressed that the sighting was unconfirmed.

The Malaysian delegation arrived in Beijing late on Thursday after repeated, angry demands by relatives for an opportunity to question Kuala Lumpur officials about the search and rescue operation.

Previous daily meetings at the hotel have been with representatives of Malaysia Airlines, and the relatives have been growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of answers.

Relatives have been speaking of hunger strikes and demonstrations in recent days.

AFP understands they have also been attempting to organise themselves into groups aimed at putting added pressure on the Malaysian government.

Uniformed police officers ushered foreign reporters out of the room before the more than three-hour-long meeting began, while a handful of selected Chinese state media organisations remained inside.

Domestic media is tightly controlled in China.

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