China / Government

China urges Malaysia to compensate MH370 victims

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-29 21:21

BEIJING -- China on Thursday called on Malaysia to fulfill its obligation of compensation to families of MH370 passengers and continue to search for the plane immediately after Malaysia declared MH370 disappearance an accident.

"At this moment of sadness, the Chinese government expresses its deep sorrow for the misery of those on board, and offers its profound sympathies and sincere condolences to their families," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.

Her comments came after Director General of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman announced Thursday the status of missing flight MH370 has been finalized as lost.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777 aircraft with 239 people on board, including 154 Chinese nationals, disappeared on March 8, 2014 shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en-route to Beijing.

Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said passengers and crew of the flight were presumed dead and search remains priority.

Hua said Malaysia's declaration was made based on available satellite data of the aircraft and results of the search operation to date and in compliance with the provisions of the relevant international convention.

"We call on the Malaysian side to act on the commitments made in the statement (of declaring MH370 an accident), fulfill its obligation of compensation, protect the lawful rights and interests of the families and provide them with support and assistance," Hua said.

"We also call on the Malaysian side to remain fully committed to the search and investigation efforts and keep the families updated on the latest progress," she said.

The Chinese government will work closely with the governments of Malaysia and Australia, actively participate in the search and investigation efforts, provide the families with all necessary services and uphold their lawful rights and interests, said Hua.

Since March 8, 2014, "the entire Chinese nation has been deeply concerned about the fate of their fellow countrymen aboard MH370," the spokeswoman said, adding that the families of those on board have been gripped by enormous anxiety and grief.

Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other Party and state leaders have given important instructions on numerous occasions to make sure that every possible effort is made to locate the aircraft, she said.

The Chinese government mobilized massive resources in this unprecedented search operation, including 21 satellites, 19 vessels, 13 aircraft and over 2,500 personnel and Chinese experts were dispatched to get deeply involved in the investigation, according to Hua.

"Counsoling the families of MH370 passengers is another priority for the Chinese government," she said, adding officials at various levels have paid visits to the relatives of the Chinese passengers. A reception office had been set up to help the families and local working groups.

Thousands of government personnel and volunteers worked day and night to provide legal advice, medical aid, psychological counselling and other services to the families, she added.

"We know it must be extremely hard for the families to come to terms with the MH370 accident. We wish to assure the families of all the Chinese passengers that they are always on the mind of the Party and the government, who will be with them through these trying times," she said.

"We hope the families will stay strong at this difficult moment and try to resume their normal life at an early date," she said.

Hua also expressed deep appreciation and gratitude for all those efforts of Malaysia, Australia and other countries and international organizations in searching for the aircraft, conducting investigations and offering consolation to the families of the passengers.

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