China is said to be planning to build dozens of satellites in order to set up a global monitoring network following the mystery surrounding the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
With more than two-thirds of the passengers on board the missing plane being Chinese citizens, Beijing remains one of the key players in the ongoing multi-national efforts to trace the aircraft.
To prevent such incidents in the future, China is said to be mulling deployment of nearly 50 orbiting probes so that the country can monitor the entire planet.
\"We would have a much greater chance of finding MH370 and tracing it to its final position. The plan is being drafted to expand our regional monitoring capability to global coverage,\" Professor Chi Tianhe, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences\' Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, told the Hong Kong-based daily, South China Morning Post.
If China presses ahead with the latest satellite proposal, which is estimated to cost about 20 billion yuan (£2bn), it will put China\'s global surveillance capability on par with the US or even greater than it.
Noting that this will prove a game changer in placing China ahead of other nations in its surveillance capabilities, remote-sensing expert at Peking University\'s school of earth and space sciences Liu Yu, told the daily: \"China\'s ability to carry out observation from space would be altered tremendously. International earth-observation services today are dominated by the US and Europe, but if China launches more than 50 satellites for this purpose, the whole landscape will be changed. The more Chinese satellites there are in space, the easier our work becomes.\"
As the search for the Malaysian airliner enters the fourth week, China is increasingly frustrated over Kuala Lumpur\'s handling of the entire episode. Beijing\'s state-owned media have been ridiculing Malaysia\'s inability to manage the crisis.
Relatives of the Chinese passengers have also criticised Malaysian authorities for being unable to satisfactorily answer their queries.
Of the 227 passengers on board the missing airliner, 153 are Chinese nationals. In the latest development, about 50 family members of the missing Chinese passengers have flown to Kuala Lumpurto seek answers directly from the Malaysian prime minister and the transport minister.