China is Reportedly Screwing Up the Search For MH370

With a handful of countries still searching the Indian Ocean for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, there is bound to be at least some element of, well, too many boats in the ocean. According to a New York Times report, the one country annoying the others is China.

China, along with Malaysia, has the most invested in finding remnants of MH370, with 153 of the 227 passengers aboard having been Chinese nationals. The country is utilizing over a dozen airplanes and ships, and, it says, 21 satellites in its combing of the sea. But other countries, namely the United States, have accused it of unintentionally misdirecting the search in an effort to appear to be leading the pack.

Two weeks ago, Australian officials announced that a Chinese ship had detected two signals in the ocean that were believed to be from MH370's black box, but they turned up nothing and the search was eventually shifted to an area hundreds of miles away where American and Australian vessels had also detected signals. China was also the first country to release satellite images of debris in the ocean, but those photos—which showed flotsam in the South China Sea—proved to be nowhere near the current search area.

Kirk Semple and Eric Schmitt, the authors of the Times article, theorize that China wants to look to be at the forefront of the search both to placate its own citizens and to project power and importance internationally. But, for the meantime, they're being treated as a nuisance.

In the words of a sneering Malaysian official: "Really helpful, aren't they?"

[image via AP]