BEIJING – “How come what the Australians are saying doesn’t add up?” asked one Chinese family member of missing Malaysia Airways flight MH370.
“The Australians are even less trustworthy than the Malaysians” said another.
"Malaysia, Australia, a pair of pants," chimed in another.
Observers who follow the online forum of Chinese families of the missing jet passengers have noted such expressions of frustration directed at Australia, in the aftermath of the recent visit of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
”The latest news of the Australian authorities on the search operations were mutually contradictory,” declared a weekend news report compiled by Sohu News, a leading Chinese portal, referring to the apparent disconnect between the recent the statements of Abbot and Australian search coordinator Angus Houston regarding the last pulse signals from the missing jet black boxes.
On Monday, the Chinese families in Beijing watched Houston’s media briefing from Perth as he announced the deployment of the underwater Bluefin 21 autonomous sub to search for the plane wreckage on the ocean floor, marking a technically more challenging stage in the search operations.
They were unimpressed.
“It’s just another news conference. We hear different news every day, but I think we have to wait for the truth,” said Steve Wang, a spokesperson for the families. He added, “it’s not even sure that the plane is there.” Wang’s mother is among the missing passengers.
“The Australians have learned from the Malaysians how to hoodwink people,” posted one family member on the group forum.
“One deception needs another deception as cover-up,” said another.
Wang attributed the sense of frustration to the lack of results. “Maybe it’s because it’s getting too late … They feel disappointed about the whole rescue team, it’s taking too long time,” he told NBC News
“To tell you the truth, most Chinese didn’t blame Australia,” he said, adding that there is Chinese “appreciation” for Australia’s help.
Noting it’s now 38 days since the plane went missing, Wang said: “It’s 99 percent possible that it’s bad news, but there is still one percent hope … There are all kinds of possibilities, maybe the passengers are still alive.”
-- Eric Baculinao
First published April 14 2014, 8:00 AM