Chinese relatives of passengers protest at embassy

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Chinese relatives of passengers protest at embassy
A relative of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 yells at a security personnel while she attends a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative (C) of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 yells at a security personnel (R) while she attends a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Medical personnel assist a person while relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative (C) of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she participates in a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Medical personnel assist a person while relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Grieving relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 protest with plarcards outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
A grieving relative (C) of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is comforted by others as they protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Grieving relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 protest with a plarcard (C) reading 'we want the truth' outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
People assist a relative (C) who fainted during a protest, held by the relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO CHINA OUT (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
A grieving Chinese relative of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 yells to journalists as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 march to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 march to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 march to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are removed by bus after their protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are removed by bus after their protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Riot police block grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as they protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: Chinese relatives of the passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 clash with Chinese police outside the Malaysian Embassy on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are removed by bus after their protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 walk past a paramilitary police barricade as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 try to remove a police barricade blocking journalists as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative (L) of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries after hearing the news that the plane plunged into Indian Ocean at a hotel in Beijing on March 24, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines jet came down in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said March 24, as the airline reportedly told relatives it had been lost and that none on board survived. AFP PHOTO / GOH CHAI HIN (Photo credit should read GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 waves her fist as she cries after hearing the news that the plane plunged into the Indian Ocean at a hotel in Beijing on March 24, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines jet came down in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said March 24, as the airline reportedly told relatives it had been lost and that none on board survived. AFP PHOTO / GOH CHAI HIN (Photo credit should read GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is taken away by medical personnel after being told the news that the plane plunged into Indian Ocean in Beijing on March 24, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines jet came down in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said March 24, as the airline reportedly told relatives it had been lost and that none on board survived. AFP PHOTO / GOH CHAI HIN (Photo credit should read GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative (C) of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is taken away by medical personnel after being told the news that the plane plunged into Indian Ocean in Beijing on March 24, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines jet came down in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said March 24, as the airline reportedly told relatives it had been lost and that none on board survived. AFP PHOTO / GOH CHAI HIN (Photo credit should read GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as he walks out of a hotel hall at after hearing the news that the plane plunged into Indian Ocean in Beijing on March 24, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines jet came down in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said March 24, as the airline reportedly told relatives it had been lost and that none on board survived. AFP PHOTO / GOH CHAI HIN (Photo credit should read GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leave after being told that the missing airliner had crashed in the Indian Ocean at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 24, 2014. Tears and cries of inconsolable pain and loss echoed from a Beijing hotel ballroom as the relatives of MH370 passengers learned the news: their loved ones were dead. Some clung on to other family members for crumbs of comfort as they left the room where they were told the Malaysia Airlines flight had ended, incontestably, in the remote southern Indian Ocean. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative of victims from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane cries while awaiting updates at a hotel in Putrajaya on March 11, 2014. Malaysia has expanded its search area for a missing jet after three days of scouring the sea failed to bring forth any confirmed sightings of wreckage, an official said. He added that besides searching in waters between Malaysia and Vietnam, authorities were also searching on land in Malaysia and off western Malaysia. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman (R) breaks down while leaving the reception centre for families and friends after an airliner went missing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8, 2014. Malaysia and Vietnam on March 8 led a search for a Malaysia Airlines jet that has gone missing over Southeast Asia, as fears mounted over the fate of the 239 people aboard. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A crying woman is escorted to a bus for relatives at the Beijing Airport after news of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane on March 8, 2014. Malaysia Airlines said a flight carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing early on March 8, and the airline was notifying next of kin in a sign it expected the worst. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
A possible relative cries at the Beijing Airport after news of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane in Beijing on March 8, 2014. Malaysia Airlines said a flight carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing early on March 8, and the airline was notifying next of kin in a sign it expected the worst. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
A crying woman, one of the relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, is assisted by volunteers as she leaves a hotel ballroom where families were briefed on rescue and searching efforts in Beijing, China, Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
A woman cries as she walks out of the reception center and holding area for family and friend of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 8, 2014. Search teams across Southeast Asia scrambled on Saturday to find a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board that disappeared from air traffic control screens over waters between Malaysia and Vietnam early that morning. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
A Chinese relative of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane cries as she holds a banner in front of journalists reading 'We are against the Malaysian government for hiding the truth and delaying the rescue. Release our families unconditionally!" at a hotel in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Malaysian authorities examined new radar data from Thailand that could potentially give clues on how to retrace the course of the Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished early March 8 with 239 people aboard en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Twenty-six countries are looking for the aircraft as relatives anxiously await news. (AP Photo) MALAYSIA OUT
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BEIJING (AP) -- Furious that Malaysia has declared their loved ones lost in a plane crash without physical evidence, Chinese relatives of the missing marched Tuesday to the Malaysian Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, "Liars!"

The Chinese government, meanwhile, demanded that Malaysia turn over the satellite data it used to conclude that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors after turning back from its flight path to Beijing on March 8.

Among the flight's 239 passengers, 153 were Chinese nationals, making the incident a highly emotional one for Beijing, and the government's demand reflected the desire among many Chinese relatives of passengers for more conclusive information on the plane's fate.

Nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched to the embassy in the late morning, wearing white T-shirts that read "Let's pray for MH370" as they held banners and chanted for about three hours.

"Tell the truth! Return our relatives!" they shouted. There was a heavy police presence at the embassy, and a brief scuffle when some relatives tried to get past police to approach journalists, but no effort was made to break up the demonstration. The group presented a letter of protest to the embassy before getting into several buses and departing.

Many of the relatives maintain they are not being told the whole truth - a not-uncommon mindset among Chinese accustomed to dealing with authorities in their own opaque, single-party communist state. Though some have expressed resignation that their relatives probably are dead, they have accused Malaysian authorities of foot-dragging and withholding information early in the search, when there might have been some chance to save the plane.

"I want the truth, and I believe they have been hiding some information from us," said Wang Zhen, who was not part of Tuesday's demonstration but whose parents were aboard the missing plane. "It remains an enigma as to what happened after the plane turned around. What happened when the plane continued to fly?

"I am still hoping for my parents' return, even though I understand the probability is very, very low," Wang said in a telephone interview.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is sending a vice foreign minister to Kuala Lumpur as his special envoy to deal with the matter of the missing plane, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng told Malaysia's ambassador to Beijing that China wanted to know what exactly led Malaysia to announce Monday night that the plane had been lost, China's Foreign Ministry said on its website Tuesday.

"We demand the Malaysian side to make clear the specific basis on which they come to this judgment," Xie was quoted as telling Datuk Iskandar Bin Sarudin.

There was no immediate response from the Malaysian side.

The flight vanished less than an hour into an overnight flight March 8 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

In Monday night's announcement, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that an unparalleled study of the jet's last-known signals to a satellite showed that the missing plane veered "to a remote location, far from any possible landing sites."

The conclusions were based on a more thorough analysis of the brief signals the plane sent every hour to a satellite belonging to Inmarsat, a British company, even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down for unknown reasons.

Malaysia Airlines on Tuesday said it was doing everything possible to help the families, and defended itself against criticism over how it informed them about the government's conclusion that no one aboard the aircraft is still alive. Some relatives were informed by text message.

"Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did," CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.

"We know that while there have been an increasing number of apparent leads, definitive identification of any piece of debris is still missing. It is impossible to predict how long this will take," he said. "But after 17 days, the announcement made last night and shared with the families is the reality which we must now accept."

Monday's announcement sparked mournful, angry and chaotic scenes at the Beijing hotel where many relatives had gathered. Around 2:00 a.m. Tuesday (1800 GMT Monday), a group of family members read out a statement accusing Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government and military of procrastination and cover-up.

"Such despicable acts have not only fooled but devastated - both mentally and physically - the family members ... but also misled and delayed rescue operations, wasting huge amounts of human power and resources and forgoing the most critical rescue opportunities," the statement said.

Tuesday's demonstration at the embassy was unusual for China, where authorities typically clamp down firmly on spontaneous public gatherings that have no prior permission, especially those with any potential to escalate into anti-government protests.

The government's acquiescence Tuesday shows a double standard on people's right to assembly, said Beijing lawyer Zhang Qingfang, who represented a prominent activist convicted of disrupting public order after he organized small peaceful rallies demanding education equity and cleaner government.

"The logic, I think, is that as long as it's directed at the Japanese government or the Malaysian government, it is OK, but it shall not be tolerated if it's directed at the Chinese government even if the demands are reasonable," Zhang said. "We still agree the family members have every right and freedom to express themselves, but it is a shame for the government to have such double standards," he said.

Calls to the news office for the Beijing Public Security Bureau were unanswered. The police also did not respond to a faxed question about whether family members had obtained police permission.

The search for Flight 370 initially centered on the Malay Peninsula, until authorities there announced they had satellite data showing the plane flew on for hours and went much farther afield, going either north toward Central Asia or south to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.

Nan Jinyan, sister-in-law of Flight 370 passenger Yan Ling, said she suspects Malaysian authorities knew for a long time that the plane went down in the Indian Ocean.

"I feel like they are toying with human lives," Nan said. "What else can be more important than human lives?"

Of her brother-in-law, Nan said, "I don't think there's any shred of hope for him to return.

"We are exhausted after all those days, and I think we are all at loss as to what to do. We have never been through anything like this, and we have no direction."
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