China asks Australia to look for missing Malaysia Airlines plane as soon as possible

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it hopes Australia can send ships and aircraft as soon as possible to investigate two objects spotted by satellite floating in the southern Indian Ocean that may be from a missing Malaysian plane.

China has told its embassy in Australia to stay in close touch with the Australian government and help in search efforts, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry's statement came after Australian officials said an Australian air force AP-3C Orion plane was already at the scene, and more aircraft were on the way.

A merchant ship diverted for the task was due to arrive in a few hours.