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A decade later, parents of Chinese passengers on MH370 still ask about their children

A woman cries as she meets other relatives of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airline MH370 plane at a security cordon near the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, Friday, March 8, 2024.
Ng Han Guan
/
AP
A woman cries as she meets other relatives of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airline MH370 plane at a security cordon near the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, Friday, March 8, 2024.

BEIJING — Ten years on, the families of Chinese passengers who disappeared on board a lost Malaysia Airlines flight still are searching for answers.

On Friday, a few dozen relatives of the passengers met officials at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing as part of their long journey for answers. They also visited the Malaysian Embassy to present their demands. Even after such a long time, the wound remains raw for many of the families.

Friday is the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of flight MH370. The Boeing 777 left Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8, 2014, but took a sharp turn south and fell off the radar. It never made it to Beijing.

The plane's disappearance drew attention from around the world and has generated countless conspiracy theories. Only debris from the aircraft has been found.

The majority of the plane's passengers, 154, were Chinese.

Among the families were elderly parents who lost adult children.

"Where did the plane go? Where is the person?" said Li Shuce, who lost his son on the flight. "If he's alive I want to see him; if he's dead, I want to see his body."

Li was surrounded by police, who were managing the crowd in front of the building where the families met government officials. They corralled journalists behind a barrier made of ropes and a whiteboard.

Later, the families went to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing where they chanted in front of the building, "Malaysia, return my loved one! Without seeing them, we won't give up."

Another woman who gave only her last name, Gao, because she was concerned about police harassment, said she believed her husband's death last year was precipitated by not knowing the circumstances of their son's death: He was returning from a vacation with his wife and 3-year-old daughter in Malaysia when the flight vanished.

Gao and her husband belonged to a generation that could only have one child because of China's one-child policy, which has since been relaxed.

"My only request, I just want to know what happened to him. We need this," said Gao, a Beijing resident. "I don't have any other requests." She said she didn't care about possible compensation from the airline, which a Chinese court is holding hearings on.

The families are still holding out hope for answers. Last week, Malaysian officials said they would consider restarting the effort to find the aircraft, after a U.S. company that conducted a previous search proposed another attempt.

Gao said she has forced herself to carry on living for her family.

"How could I give up? If I don't stand up, how can I face them? When you meet these type of situations, you have to act for yourself, you have to be strong."

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