BEIJING, China: The Chaoyang District Intermediary Court in Beijing has begun compensation hearings for the Chinese relatives of those who died on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The plane disappeared in 2014 while traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and the incident has remained a mystery after almost a decade.
The court has not commented on the case, and China's Foreign Ministry referred related questions to legal authorities.
At a daily briefing through the week, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, "The Chinese government pays high attention to the follow-up actions of MH370. We hope the relevant parties will maintain close communication and handle it properly."
Various theories have been proposed about the plane's disappearance, including mechanical failure, hijacking, and a deliberate effort to scuttle it by pilots.
However, little evidence has been found to explain why the plane, a Boeing 777 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, diverted from its original route.
It is believed to have plunged into the Southern Ocean south of India, but no signs of where it crashed were found after months of intense searching, and only fragments of the plane have washed up on beaches in the area.
Among the passengers onboard, 153 or 154 were believed to be Chinese citizens. Some relatives refused to believe the plane had disappeared, believing it had been taken to an unknown site and that their loved ones are still alive.
The lawsuit appears to be based on the contention that Malaysia Airlines failed to take measures to locate the plane after it disappeared from air traffic control about 38 minutes after takeoff over the South China Sea on the evening of March 8, 2014.
Relatives have been communicating online and said they expect the hearings to extend to mid-December.