China / Politics

China urges Malaysia to speed up search of missing plane

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-03-10 21:41

Live Report

BEIJING -- China on Monday called on Malaysia to accelerate the search for flight MH370, missing with 239 on board, including 154 Chinese.

"We hope Malaysia can fully understand China, especially the mood of the Chinese passengers' families and speed up investigation, search and rescue efforts," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily news briefing.

"We hope Malaysia can make it clear as soon as possible," Qin said, while acknowledging the importance Malaysia attached to dealing with the incident and their sincerity to do all it could.

China urges Malaysia to speed up search of missing plane

Special: Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 missing

"The missing plane belongs to the Malaysian Airline, so it is reasonable that the Malaysian side takes the major responsibility of the search and rescue work," Qin said.

As there are more than 150 Chinese passengers on board, the Chinese government naturally takes a highly responsible attitude and has gone all-out to join in the process, he said.

China is obliged to ask and urge the Malaysian side to strengthen the search and rescue, step up investigations as soon as possible, inform the Chinese side of the developments accurately and timely, and properly handle the aftermath, Qin said.

Qin said the top priority remains search and rescue. Naval vessels, coast guard, rescue ships and cargo ships dispatched by China are expected to arrive, or have arrived at the suspected waters.

"We hope that all the passing ships of whatever countries will assist in the search and rescue," Qin said.

China's Ministry of Public Security had sent a working group to Malaysia to investigate into two people using stolen passports to board on the plane, Qin said, "but we can not identify who are using the passports yet."

He confirmed that no Chinese citizens' passports were stolen, saying previous media reports were caused by the wrong passport numbers provided by the Malaysian Airlines.

"As the investigation is still underway, it is too early to jump to a conclusion," the spokesman said, calling on the public to keep calm and avoid circulating false information.

China has joined Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries for the search and rescue work as the whole country continues to hope for the safety of the passengers onboard. A Chinese governmental work group left Beijing on Monday morning for Kuala Lumpur.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 0:41 a.m.(1641 GMT) on Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 am(2230 GMT) that day.

Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 2:40 am(1730 GMT) on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

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