Furious China Urges Malaysia to 'Speed Up' Plane Discovery Mission
The Chinese Foreign Ministry is not happy with the work Malaysian authorities have done in locating missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Spokesman Qin Gang has had his hands full answering the media's questions, calling working with Malaysian authorities "pretty chaotic" and urging them to "speed up" the process.
"Right now there is a lot of information, and it’s pretty chaotic, so up to this point we too have had difficulty confirming whether it is accurate or not," Qin is quoted as telling the media in regional publication Free Malaysia Today. Qin went on to note that China had "repeatedly and unceasingly requested and urged the Malaysian side to do their utmost and to explore every possibility in carrying out the search and investigation”.
This sort of strong language has become common over the missing flight, which was headed to Beijing and had 154 Chinese nationals on board, particularly in Chinese newspaper Xinhua. On Wednesday, the paper reported that Qin had "once again" urged the Malaysian government to "speed up." Contrast this tone to the way China received news that Japan, a longtime rival for power in the region with which China has had recent territorial disputes, would be aiding the rescue mission: a simple statement thanking their government for standing beside them. Chinese families have also been skeptical of the search mission however, and been told that they have received little to no communication from Malaysia, according to the Washington Post.
Much of the popular concern with Malaysian authorities can be found on Chinese social media, which has been brutal in criticizing Malaysian efforts to find the plane. One item that particularly fueled anger toward the nation was the appearance of Raja Bomoh Sedunia Nujum VIP, "the VIP of fortune-telling." The shaman appeared at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and began to chant using coconuts and bamboo "binoculars," and claimed that he definitely knew that the plane had either crashed or was still flying. The Chinese social network Weibo had several thousand posts mocking the witch doctor's efforts and condemning Malaysia's "distrust" of other Asian countries, particularly Vietnam, which has been aiding the rescue efforts.
Malaysia Airlines itself has also come under fire for their role in losing the aircraft. The Associated Press reports that the company has been losing revenue for years, and that one incident in which pilots allowed two attractive ladies to ride in the cockpit for the duration of a flight "has invited scrutiny of the professionalism of top-level staff."
China has deployed ten satellites and two warships to help the search and rescue efforts. Over ten countries are participating in the search currently, though no clues have led to any concrete information on where the plane might be.