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China MH370 families march to Malaysia embassy, demand Reunion trip

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Chinese relatives of passengers aboard missing flight MH370 on Friday marched to Malaysia's embassy in Beijing, some demanding to be taken to Reunion island where suspected wreckage from the plane was found.

[BEIJING] Chinese relatives of passengers aboard missing flight MH370 on Friday marched to Malaysia's embassy in Beijing, some demanding to be taken to Reunion island where suspected wreckage from the plane was found.

Most of the aircraft's passengers were Chinese, and around 30 of their relatives protested near the embassy, as dozens of police blocked off roads near the building.

Earlier they gathered at an office in the hope of meeting Malaysian officials, although none arrived.

Several demanded that Kuala Lumpur organise travel to the French Indian Ocean island, where a wing part that Malaysia's prime minister said came from the plane was washed ashore.

"We want to go to the island and see the truth," said Lu Zhanzhong, whose son was on the plane, adding: "I want to see if my son's luggage is there." Lu held a sign appealing to China's President Xi Jinping to help find the missing plane, but had harsh words for the dozens of security personnel present.

"The Chinese government has only repressed us. Look at all the police here.. they come to our houses and stop us from giving interviews... They want to cover up the truth," he added.

Hu Xiufang, who had three relatives on board the plane said: "Our demand is to go to Reunion island and look for ourselves".

"All the relatives want to go there," she said. "Malaysia is the country responsible and they should obtain the relevant documents," he added.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said early Thursday that wing wreckage found on the French island was from the plane, though French investigators said only there was a "very high probability" it came from the Boeing 777.

Malaysia said on Thursday that more objects - aircraft seat cushions and windows - had since been discovered on Reunion, but that any MH370 link "had to be verified by the French authorities".

Zhang Jianyi, who had a daughter and granddaughter on the plane, added: "We will all go there together. That's what international agreements require. And Malaysia is the relevant country to arrange it."

The Malaysia Airlines flight, with 239 people - including 153 Chinese citizens - on board, vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March last year, and authorities said it went down in the southern Indian Ocean.

Many Chinese relatives of MH370 passengers have consistently questioned official accounts and expressed beliefs that their loved ones are alive, perhaps being held at an unknown location, despite the mounting evidence of a fatal crash.

Some of the relatives, including Zhang, wore white T-shirts printed with "we pray for the safe return of MH370".

Relatives also expressed continuing frustration with Malaysian officials.

"The Malaysian government have refused to send anyone to meet us," said Jiang Hui, whose mother was on the flight.

"I don't know what the Malaysian government fears, or what it's trying to cover up." he said.

AFP