China media: Missing Malaysian jet

Several nations are involved in the search operation to find the missing jet Image copyright AFP
Image caption Several nations are involved in the search operation to find the missing jet

Media are discussing the ongoing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, tensions on the Korean Peninsula and protests over a petrochemical plant in southern China.

The Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared on 8 March en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It was carrying 239 people, 153 of whom were Chinese.

Media and netizens have been critical of Malaysia's handling of the crisis, however, media reports are urging calm and "rationality" over the incident.

The Chinese media appear to have toned down their criticism of Malaysia and seem to be focusing more on Beijing's efforts in finding the plane.

A Xinhua news agency report reprinted on a central government news portal says "the Chinese public are praying for life".

It quotes several interviewees praising the Chinese government's search effort, saying it shows that the authorities "value life".

Some interviewees say "everyone is waiting patiently and rationally for the search outcome".

"After the plane disappearance, the rational expression of the public will reflect our country's image as a responsible big nation," the report quotes a university professor as saying.

Several media outlets have taken a note of the Malaysian media's response to the incident and an apparent war of words between social media users of the two countries.

A report in the Chinese edition of the Global Times observers that some Malaysian papers say that "the people, the media and government officials of Malaysia have had enough" of attacks on their country.

Commenting on the apparent war of words, an article in the China Daily says the "emotional response of the two peoples" show their lack of knowledge about each other.

"Both in China and Malaysia, nationalist sentiment is on the rise as a result of the missing plane. This is at odds with the atmosphere that was supposed to be nurtured this year, as 2014 was designated the China-Malaysia friendship year," it says.

However, the commentary subtly hints that Malaysia lacks trust in China because it shared crucial information with Washington and not with Beijing.

"The response of the two countries to the incident shows they need to make more efforts to implement and advance their comprehensive strategic partnership… the China-Malaysia comprehensive strategic partnership will lose its value and will exist in name only if the two countries cannot forge mutual trust," it warns.

'Closed country'

Meanwhile, media are raising questions over Washington's "pressure tactic" on China over tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea on Monday said that it returned fire after North Korean shells landed in its territorial waters.

According to media reports, Daniel Russel, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, told China that it should press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons if Beijing wants to change US military deployment in the region.

"China will surely ignore the conditions that Mr Russel made," Jin Canrong, international affairs expert from Renmin University, tells the Chinese edition of the Global Times.

"Although North Korea is a relatively closed country, but what he said will quickly reach the North Korean leaders. In fact, his comments could sow discord between China and North Korea," he adds.

The paper further points out that China's anti-nuclear stance towards North Korea is "very clear, but China will not follow the treatment of the US, South Korea and Japan towards North Korea".

However, the daily also reminds North Korea that it should not go on pursuing the "fantasy of possessing nuclear weapons, thinking that these weapons mean everything".

"If North Korea continues with its nuclear test…it will face international isolation for a long time, and it will unable to eradicate poverty. All these will pose risks to its regime, which will not be helped by possession of nuclear weapons," it warns.

'Violence rumours'

Elsewhere, state-run media are debunking "rumours" about violence in Maoming, Guangdong province, over a petrochemical plant.

Residents in Maoming, southern China, on Sunday reportedly protested against the construction of a petrochemical plant that manufactures paraxylene.

Chinese authorities and the media have condemned the protest, calling it "serious criminal behaviour".

The People's Daily notes that "some Hong Kong media outlets have reported that 15 people were dead and 300 injured" in the conflict and that there were also photos of tanks driving on the road circulating on the internet.

Terming the "reports from outside media" as "rumours", the paper quotes a Maoming official describing the figures as "unbelievable".

The daily emphasizes that only "a few people" were involved in the scuffle and they are being investigated by police.

And finally, 13 people were injured when an escalator at a Shanghai metro station malfunctioned and suddenly reversed its direction.

According to Dongfang Daily, the escalator was moving upwards when the drive chain snapped, reversing the travelling directions during morning rush hour on Wednesday.

An article in the Beijing Youth Daily notes that such accidents have occurred a few times in the past and urges more frequent maintenance of the escalators.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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