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Commentary: U.S. papers should help, not hurt, int'l jet hunt

English.news.cn   2014-04-18 23:18:07

by Xiong Zhengyan, Sun Yi and Wang Huihui

BEIJING, April 18 (Xinhua) -- While 26 countries are working to find the missing Malaysian airline MH370, leading U.S. newspapers, through their reporting, are damaging the international coalition's efforts.

In a story entitled "In jet hunt, Chinese claims said to distract and delay," The New York Times on Wednesday criticized China by saying "false leads slow down the investigation," listing the country's leads from satellite photographs to underwater signals.

Another U.S. paper The Wall Street Journal echoed NYT's criticism, saying China had "satellite images released by mistake, questionable underwater search techniques and a drumbeat of criticism of Malaysia."

It may be true that China's leads turned out to be unrelated, but China is not the only country making such false leads, as a number of countries' claims and findings have turned out to be wrong, neither should China be the scapegoat for the month-long unsuccessful joint search mission.

By saying China's actions in the hunt for the jet are seen as "hurting as much as helping," another NYT report on Tuesday discouraged the multilateral search mission and hurt the Chinese people.

Does the intention of these reports mean to force countries making wrong leads or with less sophisticated equipment to withdraw from the joint search? Do the papers believe only powerful countries are qualified to help with international humanitarian missions?

As most of the passengers on board were Chinese citizens, China has from the very beginning given top priority to the search.

China has never mobilized so many resources for a search as it has for MH370. Take the equipment involved as an example. By April 17, China had deployed 21 satellites and sent more than ten vessels and dozens of aircraft for the search, with the search area in the southern Indian Ocean totaling 678,000 square kilometers, almost twice as big as Germany.

The purpose of China's enormous input is not to "demonstrate technological ability" as the NYT alleged, but to do its best as part of the international mission to locate the black box and find debris at an early date.

Facing the most difficult search in human history, the Chinese government has been busy coordinating with 25 other countries, only to get WSJ's criticism saying Chinese diplomats "pressed senior leaders in capitals across Asia at times souring an atmosphere already thick with difficulties."

China's efforts have been widely lauded by the international community and people with vision, including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who last week commented on "how committed China is to the search of MH370."

The U.S. papers' reporting, which either found faults in China's search efforts and stirred up trouble between China and other countries or played up the "China threat", reflected the papers' deep-rooted prejudice against a growing China. It is also disrespectful to the 239 passengers on board.

As the international search is still going on, media organizations around the world should report facts as they are and boost the morale of people involved in the search mission rather than defame anyone and drive a wedge among partners in the search coalition.

Editor: yan
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