China, Australia PM agree to step up efforts in search for missing MH370

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, have agreed to continue the efforts to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

In a telephone conversation on Wednesday, Mr Abbott updated the Chinese premier with the latest developments in the search and rescue mission, as well as the ongoing investigation.

Mr Li expressed appreciation for efforts put in by the Australian side in the search for the missing plane.

"The search is now faced with even more complexities and hardships," Mr Li said, adding that he expected the two sides to continue doing all they can instead of slacking off or even giving up, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mr Li said China has already sent more than 10 ships and many aircraft to relocate, recover and review suspicious items spotted via airborne observation. Beijing has asked more than 60 passing merchant ships with Chinese nationality and 20 Chinese fishing boats operating in the Indian Ocean to help with the search, he said.

Mr Abbott, for his part, spoke highly of China's input, saying his country is willing to work with China, Malaysia and others in bettering their communications and cooperation, and will step up its search efforts to the best of its ability.

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