Angry Chinese families threaten hunger strike over missing plane

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Angry Chinese families threaten hunger strike over missing plane
A Chinese relative (C) of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 reacts as he attends a meeting at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 21, 2014. The hunt for physical evidence that the Malaysia Airlines jet crashed in the Indian Ocean more than three weeks ago has turned up nothing, despite a massive operation involving seven countries and repeated sightings of suspected debris.. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man stands in front of a billboard in support of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have a meeting at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 23, 2014. The hunt for physical evidence that the Malaysia Airlines jet crashed in the Indian Ocean more than three weeks ago has turned up nothing, despite a massive operation involving seven countries and repeated sightings of suspected debris.. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
A Chinese relative (C) of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 reacts as he attends a meeting at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 21, 2014. The hunt for physical evidence that the Malaysia Airlines jet crashed in the Indian Ocean more than three weeks ago has turned up nothing, despite a massive operation involving seven countries and repeated sightings of suspected debris.. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
Steve Wang, one of the relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, speaks to journalists near a "No Entry" sign outside a hotel in Beijing, China, Friday, May 2, 2014. Senior officials from Malaysia, Australia and China will meet early next week to decide on the next step in the search for the Malaysia Airlines jet, while expressing confidence Friday that the hunt was on the right track despite no wreckage being found so far. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Steve Wang, whose mother was on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane talks about the latest release of satellite data in Beijing, China, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Close to three months after the Malaysian jetliner disappeared, the Malaysia government on Tuesday released reams of raw satellite data it used to determine that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean, a step long demanded by the families of some of the passengers on board.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Steve Wang, whose mother was on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane looks at a computer for the latest release of satellite data during an interview in Beijing, China, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Close to three months after the Malaysian jetliner disappeared, the Malaysia government on Tuesday released reams of raw satellite data it used to determine that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean, a step long demanded by the families of some of the passengers on board.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 18: A relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 answers media questions at the Lido Hotel on March 18, 2014 in Beijing, China. The search area for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has increased again to include both land and water from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean following reports the airliner flew for seven hours after last contact. The missing aircraft disappeared one week ago carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. All passengers and crew are currently under investigation and 22 countries are involved in the search. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
A relative of a Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 shows a paper reading "Hunger strike protest, Respect life, Return my relative, Don't want become victim of politics, Tell the truth" as she speaks to the media outside a hotel ballroom after attending a briefing held by airlines' officials in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Families of the passengers aboard the missing plane decided to organize a hunger strike to express their anger and disappointment at the handling of the situation by authorities. They decided on the action after a daily morning meeting with two officials from Malaysia Airlines. The plane has been missing since March 8, and contradictory information plus the fact there has been no sign of the plane has left family members frustrated. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A relative of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 waits for a news briefing by the Airlines' officials at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Families of the passengers aboard the missing plane decided to organize a hunger strike to express their anger and disappointment at the handling of the situation by authorities. They decided on the action after a daily morning meeting with two officials from Malaysia Airlines. The plane has been missing since March 8, and contradictory information plus the fact there has been no sign of the plane has left family members frustrated. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A relative of a Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 holds a paper which reads "Hunger strike protest, Respect life, Return my relative, Don't want become victim of politics, Tell the truth" as she speaks to the media outside a hotel ballroom after attending a briefing held by the airlines' officials in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Families of the passengers aboard the missing plane decided to organize a hunger strike to express their anger and disappointment at the handling of the situation by authorities. They decided on the action after a daily morning meeting with two officials from Malaysia Airlines. The plane has been missing since March 8, and contradictory information plus the fact there has been no sign of the plane has left family members frustrated. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 16: A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 reacts during a phone call at Lido Hotel on March 16, 2014 in Beijing, China. During the press conference the Prime Minister said that investigators had discovered evidence from satellite and radar systems indicating that the communication systems of the aircraft had been intentionally disabled. The search for the plane in the South China Sea has now been abandoned with the focus switching to two flight corridors, the first stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and a second stretching from Indonesia to the South Indian Ocean. The missing aircraft was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Students light candles as they hold placards in solidarity with families of the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane during a candle light vigil at the university belt in Manila on March 13, 2014. Malaysia said on March 13 that satellite images of suspected debris from a missing jet were yet another false lead, and debunked a report the plane had flown on for hours after losing contact -- leaving the nearly week-old mystery no closer to being solved. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
Visitors write on a banner carrying messages for the passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 16, 2014. Investigators probing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 piloted an identical Boeing 777-200 on the missing plane's suspected flight path, in a re-enactment confirming their belief that it banked west, a senior Malaysian military official said on March 16. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH: MALAYSIA-CHINA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT,FOCUS BY SHANNON TEOH This picture taken on March 15, 2014 shows crew members preparing on a Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during a search and rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the Strait of Malacca in Subang. The disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet is a potential disaster for a national flag carrier already struggling to cauterise severe financial hemorrhaging in the face of intensifying industry competition, raising the spectre of costly lawsuits and a drop in bookinngs. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH: MALAYSIA-CHINA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT,FOCUS BY SHANNON TEOH This picture taken on March 15, 2014 shows crew members talking to each others onboard a Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft working during a search and rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the Strait of Malacca. The disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet is a potential disaster for a national flag carrier already struggling to cauterise severe financial hemorrhaging in the face of intensifying industry competition, raising the spectre of costly lawsuits and a drop in bookinngs. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
In this picture taken on March 14, 2014, Subramaniam Gurusamy, 60, shows a portrait of his son Puspanathan who was onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight at his home in Teluk Panglima Garang, outside Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that Malaysia was ending a search in the South China Sea for a vanished jetliner after investigations indicated the missing plane likely turned far to the west. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indonesian student writes a message expressing prayers and well-wishes for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 in Medan, North Sumatra, on March 15, 2014. Investigators now believe the Malaysian jet that vanished was commandeered by a 'skilled, competent' flyer who piloted the plane for hours, a senior Malaysian military official said, as Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses the nation. AFP PHOTO/ ATAR (Photo credit should read ATAR/AFP/Getty Images)
A ground worker carries out maintenance works on a Vietnam Air Force's Russian-made AN-26 aircraft that was used along with other types of aircrafts at finding the missing Malaysia Airlines plane at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh city on March 15, 2014. A Malaysian jet that vanished a week ago appears to have changed course and continued flying for hours, a senior Malaysian military official said, citing radar data indicating a 'skilled, competent' pilot was at the controls. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH NAM (Photo credit should read HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)
Crew members from the Royal Malaysian Air Force install live jackets onboard a Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during a search and rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the Strait of Malacca on March 14, 2014. Malaysia confirmed on March 14 that the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane had been expanded into the Indian Ocean, but declined to comment on US reports that the jet had flown for hours after going missing. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A girl holding a balloon reads messages for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Malaysian authorities Sunday were investigating the pilots of the missing jetliner after it was established that whoever flew off with the Boeing 777 had intimate knowledge of the cockpit and knew how to avoid detection when navigating around Asia. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
A woman walks past a banner filled with signatures and well-wishes for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sunday, March 16, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Malaysian authorities Sunday were investigating the pilots of the missing jetliner after it was established that whoever flew off with the Boeing 777 had intimate knowledge of the cockpit and knew how to avoid detection when navigating around Asia. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A woman leaves a message for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Malaysian authorities Sunday were investigating the pilots of the missing jetliner after it was established that whoever flew off with the Boeing 777 had intimate knowledge of the cockpit and knew how to avoid detection when navigating around Asia. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
Paper planes with personalized messages dedicated to people involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, are placed at the viewing gallery of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. The Malaysian passenger jet missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about seven and a half hours after takeoff, meaning it could have ended up as far as Kazakhstan or deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A relative of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 calls for calm as he tries to get journalists access to a press conference held at a hotel for relatives in Beijing, China, Friday, March 14, 2014. The international search for the missing Malaysian jetliner expanded Friday further into the Indian Ocean amid signs the aircraft may have flown on for hours after its last contact with air-traffic control nearly a week ago. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A woman walks past a board reading "Pray for MH370" for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Investigators have concluded that one or more people with significant flying experience hijacked the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, switched off communication devices and steered it off-course, a Malaysian government official involved in the investigation said Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
Putrajaya, Malaysia. 9th Mar, 2014. A Malaysian Muslim man prays at a mosque during a mass prayer gathering for the Malaysian Airlines missing plane, MH370 in Putrjaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 9, 2014. Military radar indicates that the missing Boeing 777 jet of Malaysia Airlines may have turned back, Malaysia's air force chief said Sunday as scores of ships and aircraft from across Asia resumed a hunt for the plane and its 239 passengers. © Joshua Paul/NurPhoto/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 10th Mar, 2014. Men offer prayers during a candlelight vigil for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people on board went missing early March 8, while on its way to Beijing, China. Malaysia will expand search and rescue operations to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet with 239 people on board, as the third day of searching yielded no results, a senior Malaysian aviation official said. © Firdaus Latif/NurPhoto/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News
Putrajaya, Malaysia. 9th Mar, 2014. A Malaysian Muslim woman prays at a mosque during a mass prayer gathering for the Malaysian Airlines missing plane, MH370 in Putrjaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 9, 2014. Military radar indicates that the missing Boeing 777 jet of Malaysia Airlines may have turned back, Malaysia's air force chief said Sunday as scores of ships and aircraft from across Asia resumed a hunt for the plane and its 239 passengers. © Joshua Paul/NurPhoto/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News
Security blocks journalists from the meeting with relatives of passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane and the Malaysian ambassador at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 12, 2014. Malaysia's air force chief said authorities have not ruled out the possibility a missing airliner inexplicably changed course before losing contact, but denied reports the jet had been detected far from its planned flight path. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers inspect a Malaysia Airlines plane on the tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on March 13, 2014. Planes searching an area where Chinese satellites spotted possible debris from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have found no sign of wreckage, officials said on March 13, dimming hopes of a breakthrough in the mystery. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A tourist offers a prayer after writing a message expressing prayers and well-wishes for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 outside a mall in Kuala Lumpur on March 13, 2014. Malaysia said on March 13 it dispatched an aircraft to investigate the site where Chinese satellites photographed three 'suspected floating objects', near an area where several nations have been hunting for wreckage from the missing passenger plane. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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By Maxim Duncan

(Reuters) - Furious Chinese families threatened on Tuesday to go on hunger strike until the Malaysian government tells them the truth about the fate of their relatives aboard a Malaysia Airlines flight which went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Ten days after the airliner vanished an hour into its flight, hundreds of family members are still waiting for information in a Beijing hotel.

Around two thirds of the 239 passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are Chinese.

Families vented their pain and anger on Chinese representatives sent by the airline to meet them on Tuesday and demanded to see the Malaysian ambassador.

"What we want is the truth. Don't let them become victims of politics. No matter what political party you are, no matter how much power you have, if there isn't life, what's the point? Where is compassion?" asked one middle-aged woman angrily.

"You're always going back and forth. I think your government knows in their heart why we want you to answer us. Because you're always tricking us, telling us lies," added one man.

China has repeatedly called on the Malaysian side to do a better job at looking after the relatives of the Chinese passengers, and to provide them with updated information.

"China has all along demanded that the Malaysian side and Malaysia Airlines earnestly respond to the reasonable requests of the Chinese families," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing.

The Chinese representative from the airline said what information the families received was beyond his control.

"I can accept the criticisms and mistakes that you have pointed out. But the problem is that some information and material we really have no way to access. From my position, I really cannot access it. So I beg for your forgiveness," he said.

As the representatives left, families shouted after them, chanting slogans with their fists in the air.

"Keep protesting, Respect life, Don't let them become victims of politics, Tell us the truth!" they shouted.

Speaking to reporters, a woman who had led the chanting held up a piece of paper with slogans written on it, and said the families were calling for a hunger strike.

"Respect life, return our relatives. Can everyone read it? Can everyone read it?" she asked.

"We're going on hunger strike. I'm representing," she said.

"The families are on the point of collapse. There are so many families coming and going, some have already left. The young people can stand it, but the elderly have already broken down," she shouted.

It was not clear how many of the relatives would join the hunger strike, or if it had even begun.

A man surnamed Wen whose son was aboard the plane repeated demands to see the ambassador.

"We haven't yet decided whether we will go to the embassy, but we demand that the Malaysian ambassador come and represent the government to come and answer the families' questions and give them some information. They're secretive, they never tell the truth," he said.

Anger has also spread online, with some Chinese calling on the government to impose sanctions on Malaysia for its poor handling of the incident.

"Malaysia knew that the plane changed direction, yet concealed it, knew that it was not in South China Sea, yet let everyone look there for several days, and they are still hiding all kinds of information," one user wrote on microblogging site Sina Weibo. "This rogue state really should be sanctioned."

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