China warship 


There is growing speculation in both diplomatic and in media circles that the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 may have been brought down in the South China Sea in an area patrolled and controlled by China.

The testimony of New Zealand oil rig worker Mike McKay as relayed to ABC journalist Bob Woodruff, corroborates the evidence of Kota Baru based fisherman Azid Ibrahim and residents of an atoll in the disputed South China Sea that an aircraft resembling the ill fated MAS 370 was seen flying low then descending in a fireball crashing into the South China Sea.

What follows in Kiwi Mike McKay’s observation is consistent with that of an aircraft having been hit by a missile from the ground (sea) or air which would have hastened the demise of the plane, its crew and passengers in a fireball.

Description of the aircraft’s low flying manouvers given by Azid Ibrahim is described by a retired US fighter pilot as being ‘consistent with an aircraft evading radar or shaking off a pursuer when intercepted’.

Whatever theory one follows in this mystery, one thing is clear, China a very vocal critic of Malaysia’s handling of the crisis has been noticeably less than candid, cooperative or transparent in assisting search and rescuers with discovering whatever it is that happened to MH 370.


In fact China did admit to having scoured the area under its control in the south China sea. China, immediately after the announcement that the MAS aircraft may have gone down in the south China sea, did acknowledge its ships and aircraft had searched the disputed waters and airspace under its control for the wreckage of MH 370.

Chinese officials did acknowledge to having found possibly debris from the aircraft, but the officials asked that they be given time to make a formal announcement about their findings of wreckage possibly from the MH 370 aircraft. That formal announcement did not come.

China instead created ‘red herrings’ to throw the international media and others off their scent. There was growing international (and logically so) suspicion that the Chinese had shot down the aircraft when it strayed into waters and air space the Chinese have occupied and militarized, unilaterally declaring the area as their own.

One might recall that not long before MH 370 “disappeared” China threatened to “shoot down any aircraft that entered into the disputed airspace over the south China sea” it claims for itself. China threatened anyone challenging Chinese ‘sovereignty’ over the area in breach of international law.

If the truth be known, China’s conduct  throughout this sorry episode raises very serious questions about its probity in the handling of information and facts into the disappearance of MH 370. Its criticisms of Malaysia have been vocal but its assistance and disclosures on the mystery and the incident has been less than transparent, helpful or honest. But this is China one is dealing with.

China whilst demanding transparency and openness of others like Malaysia has no history or recent record of tolerance of democratic practices, no free press, no free speech, no open debate, no criticism of the state or questioning of its practices. Yet China demands much more from states like Malaysia who they vilify through their local Chinese community agents.


Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah or more likely First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid who may have been in control of MH 370 at the time before it ‘disappeared’, may have inadvertently entered ‘Chinese (illegally) controlled airspace’. He would very quickly have notice he had company in the form of an armed Chinese Air Force interceptor and panicked.

On seeing an armed fighter jet suddenly appear alongside MH370 at night threatening to destroy their aircraft and not having had a real life experience of dealing with such an event (although he may have practiced it in theory) the MH 370 pilot would have chosen the alternative and instinctive course of action of diving and flying below radar to get away from the Chinese interceptors. It is a common form of evasive action taken by pilots.

Fariq Abdul Hamid the lesser experienced of the two pilots may have never had the experience of encountering an armed fighter jet mid flight in his career. And not many pilots worldwide do. If it were he in control of the aircraft it is more likely than not that his inexperience may have prompted him to take evasive action instead of following the Chinese aircraft as international law prescribes in such situations.

International Aviation Rules requires pilots of interceptor aircraft (in this case Chinese Air force aircraft in the region) to rock their wings and at night, flash lights to tell the crew of the intruding plane: ”You have been intercepted. Follow me.”

The rules call for the off-course plane (if it was MH 370) to duplicate the procedure to signal: ”Understood, will comply.” The off course aircraft ( if it was Malaysian Airlines MH370) is then required to descend to an altitude where it is safely able to lower its landing gear and lower it as a sign of compliance.


In 1979 A Libyan civilian Airliner was brought down by Israel killing all aboard because as Israel claimed at the time “the pilot refused to comply with international civil aviation rules“. That reasoning was debunked by Israel’s own admission years later that their description of events involving the ill fated Libyan civilian airliner was a total fabrication, a lie and utter nonsense. 

Details and the full truth of that shooting down of a civilian airliner emerged a decade later when dissident Israeli Mossad agent, Victor Ostrowski  described the events in his book “By Way of Deception” as the deliberate action by the state of Israel in bringing down the Libyan airliner in the mistaken belief the Libyan aircraft was carrying Abu Nidal a notorious Palestinian resistance fighter aboard as a passenger.

MH 370 may not have strayed its course, although if it did, straying from the course is not uncommon in civilian or military aviation. Panic stations in such circumstances is not uncommon either.

The Chinese after all claim all of the South China Sea and beyond as theirs. The Chinese have demonstrated in recent times a propensity to use force to make their point as they also have in the past with the US, Japan and other countries passing through the East and South China Seas.


The local Malaysian Chinese population through people like MP Hannah Yeoh and her party boss, the perennial opposition leader Lim Kit Siang, both ethnic Chinese, have been goading the government of Malaysia with their scurrilous and defamatory claims with provocative racial slurs published in “Chinglish”  on their blogs and tweets  about the disappearance of MH370.

Both Kit Siang and Hannah Yeoh somehow appear to believe that the Malay government is responsible for the disappearance of MH 370. The many Chinese of Malaysia now join the unholy chorus of China Chinese in repeating those slurs against the Malay government and its people at every given opportunity. Kit Siang like Hannah Yeoh bar and censor anyone  who holds a view that is different to theirs or in any way seeks to dampen their Chinese chauvinistic rants against especially Malaysia’s majority Malays.

China (and others who support them in the region) has now desperately diverted the search for MH 370 from the most probable area of where the plane may have gone down (the South China Sea) to the southern Indian ocean and Turkmenistan.

The Muslim bogey and the confused Malay theory both are easily believable and plausible theories amongst many in the gullible west promoted by Malaysia’s Chinese.

Many now believe the current diversion to the Southern Indian Ocean is a convenient ruse to enable the Chinese to mop up the mess in their area of control in the South China Sea or at least to continue with the search on their own terms.

Even if debris is now found in the southern Indian ocean it could have originated from many different points of origin.


The arrogance of the Chinese by their behaviour and their unique distorted ideas of observance of international aviation rules is legend.

For instance in its 2001 conduct of intercepting a US Navy EP3 Orion over Hainan Island it broke every law of the air and sea. In the Hainan Island incident China’s fighter jets rammed a US EP3 Orion in breach of internationally accepted aviation rules in the first of many such incidents involving the Chinese navy and its airforce in the south China Sea. Not much confidence in their civility when it comes to observance of civil aviation rules. China’s behavior was violent, aggressive and overboard.

China does not have a history of compliance with international rules even in the conduct of its civilian aviation industry. Its heavy handedness and crude diplomacy leaves a lot to be desired. But “who will bell the cat?”

What most observers do not see is the unprecedented level of militarization of the South China sea by China especially around those atolls which China has a dominant presence and makes unilateral claims over.

Viet Nam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan all lay claim to the atolls in the south China sea especially the Spratleys, but it is China that has aggressively patrolled the area engaging in firefights with the Philippines and Viet Nam on numerous occasions.


China in January of 2014 unilaterally declared the area around the Senkaku islands claimed by both China and Japan to be its own sovereign territory. In November 2013, China announced the creation of a new air-defence identification zone, which would demand any aircraft in the zone to comply with a number of rules laid down by Beijing.

The area covers the airspace above the disputed islands, and also overlaps with Japan’s claimed air-defence zone. Japan labelled the move a “unilateral escalation”. The US has moved to beef up the Japanese air defences whilst Taiwan and the Philippines have sought to shore up their own offensive capabilities in the face of Chinese aggression aided by foreign Chinese settler communities.


China treats its south east Asian neighbours with little respect bordering on contempt because of its over bearing physical size, its economic might and its military strength. South East Asia is slavishly tied to China through trade. An almost untenable a one way situation in favour of China.

Part of the blame with the relationship lies with the south east Asian governments themselves having to deal with a restive, avaricious and sizeable local Chinese populations with fierce loyalties to the mainland. Having yielded much of their own territorial and political sovereignty to an aggressive and expansionist China these governments have little to bargain with now. Malaysia included.

South east Asian government’s (excepting the Philippines), have ‘kow towed’ to the Chinese since its economic liberalization, seeking economic favours in return. China in turn emboldened by their might hold many of these little nations captive and does as it pleases with each of them. Malaysia is now feeling the heat of its subservience to China having put all of its ‘eggs’ as it were in the Chinese basket.

Today the Chinese so well entrenched politically and economically in south east Asia are able to run riot over the other five countries excepting Taiwan. Each of these nations have an equal if not more legitimate claim to the disputed regions in the south China sea but are helpless against the dragon.

China uses its proxies in the region to destabilize non compliant governments as it did during the time of Mao. Chinese “opposition groups” like the MCA and DAP in Malaysia and the Kuomintang now reformed, all with allegiance to the “motherland” have served to undermine the political integrity, stability and sovereignty of countries like Malaysia.

A very high powered Malaysia delegation has left for China over the last few days seeking to pacify the ‘angry’ Chinese who suggest that Malaysia is not doing  enough to find the missing MH 370 aircraft which carried a large compliment of Chinese nationals.


If China as suspected did in fact shoot down the aircraft, they have every means of concealing their mischief as they always have done throughout history.

China is able to strong arm the Malaysian government. It is able to bully the economically weaker US and Europe especially at this moment of strained relations between Europe and Moscow.

More to the point China is able to remove any trace (if there is any left) of debris of MH 370 if indeed MH 370 was shot down by a Chinese missile in disputed waters claimed and patrolled by them. They control all the waters around the south China sea.

China thus far remains the only country that has not contributed in a transparent way to the search effort. It says a lot of things with little to show for its ‘efforts’.

During the early and critical stages of the search, China threatened and forced Viet Namese jets and patrol boats it claimed was ‘breaching its territorial waters’ forcing them to move out of the critical search zone.  China wanted and got total unfettered control of the south China sea.

China has assisted foreign reporters in Malaysia and in China to orchestrate the highly emotive scenes and ‘gate crashing’ at ministerial press briefings in Kuala Lumpur after the crash.  Yet it has denied the international media any opportunity  to speaking with Chinese ministry of defence officials in order to quiz them about what they the Chinese know about the disappearance of MH375.

China and the Chinese in general have never ever understood the meaning of transparency or openness. It remains an authoritarian, closed, undemocratic totalitarian state and society.

Malaysia and all of South East Asia in the meantime although suspicious of the Chinese feel threatened and are vulnerable to destabilization of their governments through withdrawal of investment and political activity driven by local Chinese communities funded by their and other foreign money.


Of all the countries that would have superior technology in the air and under the sea all visible from their satellites is Russia. But the US and Europe in recent days have gravely miscalculated the strength and resolve of Russia over the Ukraine crisis and have in the process alienated the Russians creating a siege situation in Crimea. 

The US, Europe and their allies have badly damaged their relations with Russia. They now need a cooperative and compliant China as a bulwark against an assertive Russia to redress the military and economic imbalance it now faces from Russia in Europe and in the rest of the world. With a revived expansive Russian economic and military machine pitted against western anti Russian propaganda China always has the upper hand.
Echoes of KAL 007 all over again. No debris just speculation and stonewalling from the Communists.