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China will not give up searching for missing Malaysia Airlines MH370: Premier Li

Published on Mar 13, 2014 11:17 AM
 
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers his report during the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China will not stop the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 with 153 Chinese nationals on board, Mr Li said. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

As long as there is a "glimmer of hope", China will not stop the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday as he urged all parties to step up the search for the jetliner with 153 Chinese nationals on board.

"This is an international and large-scale search operation involving many countries. The Chinese government has asked the relevant party to enhance coordination, investigate the cause, locate the missing plane as quickly as possible and properly handle all related matters," Mr Li said at the press conference to mark the closing of the annual national parliamentary meetings.

China said late Wednesday that its satellites have detected three large floating objects in a suspected crash site near where a missing Malaysian jet lost contact, the latest twist in a hunt which entered its sixth day on Thursday.

China’s state science and technology administration said that a Chinese satellite had seen the objects in a “suspected crash sea area” in the South China Sea on March 9, and that the images were being analysed.

But China's civil aviation chief said on Thursday that there was no proof that the floating objects spotted were connected to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

"Chinese satellites have found smoke and floating objects ... At present we cannot confirm this is related to the missing aircraft," Mr Li Jiaxiang told reporters on the sidelines of China's annual meeting of parliament.

The Communist Party had wanted the meetings this year to discuss ways to implement an ambitious 60-point reform plan unveiled by President Xi Jinping at its policy summit last November.

But the public and media attention have been severely distracted, first by talk that the party would be announcing unprecedented disciplinary actions against ex-security czar and retired Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang shortly after the liang hui for corruption and other misdemeanour.

On Mar 1, two days before the CPPCC opened, China was rocked by a deadly knifing attack in south-western Kunming city by assailants said to be Uighur separatists from restive Xinjiang who killed 29 and wounded 143.

A Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 carrying 153 Chinese nationals bound for Beijing that have remained missing since last Saturday has also gripped the nation.

kianbeng@sph.com.sg

- See more at: http://www.stasiareport.com/the-big-story/asia-report/china/story/china-closes-annual-national-parliamentary-session-20140313#sthash.ie53jXsH.dpuf

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