BEIJING - Chinese family members of those on board missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 staged an emotional protest outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing on Friday afternoon as tempers flared over the lack of assistance from Malaysia.
Some 40 relatives tried to rush through a police barricade that sealed off the road leading to the embassy with many next-of-kin getting into altercation with Chinese public security forces.
"Malaysia, return our loved ones to us," they shouted repeatedly in unison as many broke down in tears. Some even knelt and repeatedly bowed in front of the media scrum begging the international community for help.
Their anger and frustration stem from what they claim is the "inhuman attitude" displayed by Malaysian government authorities who have failed to send a government official to meet them since Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak declared early Thursday morning that a piece of wreckage found on an island in the Indian Ocean was "conclusively" from MH370.
Many next of kin are unconvinced that the wreckage is from MH370 and believe instead that the plane is embroiled in a "political conspiracy".
Earlier in the day, the relatives boycotted a scheduled meeting at the family support centre near the Beijing airport as Malaysia had not sent an official down. Their request to allow the media into the meeting room was also denied by the Malaysian side. They then made their way to the embassy in protest.
Family member representative Jiang Hui, whose mother was on the aircraft, said the initial agreement when the family support centre was set up was for both MAS and the Malaysian government to helm the centre together.
"It is the Malaysian government that is leading the search effort, there are some things that the airline cannot assist us with," he said. "But Malaysian government officials have repeatedly failed to show up at meetings. I don't know what they are afraid of or what they are hiding."
Mr Jiang said that Malaysia had failed to keep many of its promises, despite pledging to provide assistance to family members.
"They make all these commitments publicly but they have failed to keep any of them. That is their true self. They are the lords and we often have to beg them for things," he said.
Madam Dai Shuqin, whose sister was on the flight, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak cannot be trusted.
"He is not even human," she said.
Flight MH370 vanished enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year. Of the 239 crew and passengers on board, 153 were Chinese nationals.