KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 – China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui today paid a courtesy call on acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here. Zhang, who is a special envoy of the Chinese government, arrived at about 2 pm and had a four-eyed meeting with Hishammuddin. It is learnt that Zhang held discussions on the lost Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 which is believed to have gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.
A total of 154 of the 227 passengers on the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft were Chinese nationals. Zhang was accompanied by China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang and several Chinese officials. On the Malaysian side were MAS Group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman and Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief Gen Tan Sri Rodzali Daud.
Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have landed in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day. A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of Flight MH370, that it “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”. Yesterday, about 200 relatives of several of the Chinese passengers marched to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing to express their disappointment over the news on the fate of Flight MH370.