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China families clash with Malaysia move to declare MH370 missing

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Chinese families are opposing plans to have Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 declared missing, 10 months after it went off radar, according to a letter relatives of those on board the aircraft wrote to the carrier.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Chinese families are opposing plans to have Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 declared missing, 10 months after it went off radar, according to a letter relatives of those on board the aircraft wrote to the carrier.

The families of Chinese passengers on board MH370 signed a petition against any move by the Malaysian government or the carrier to officially declare the plane as missing, or crashed, according to the letter, distributed through social media. A press conference will be held tomorrow in Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur, according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified, citing policy.

Over the last few days, news has been circulating that the Malaysian authorities are going to make a "major announcement" with regards to the fate of MH370 on January 29, the families said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"We are prepared for any eventuality, including the fact that our loved ones may never come back," it said. "However, almost all families are unanimous in our stand that we do not want to declare our loved ones dead, without a shred of evidence." MH370 went missing March 8 while on a routine commercial flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board, of which more than 150 were from China. Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said the aircraft was deliberately steered off course and its journey ended in the Indian Ocean.

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Using communications the Boeing Co 777-200 plane had with a satellite, investigators concluded that the aircraft flew back over Malaysia and into the Indian Ocean, before diving into the ocean after running out of fuel. Australia has been leading the efforts to locate debris in the world's longest search for a jet in modern aviation era.

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