BEIJING -- Premier Li Keqiang held emergency talks over the phone on March 8 with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on the loss of contact of the Malaysia Airlines flight.
Premier Li said the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing early Saturday morning carried 154 Chinese passengers and the Chinese government and people were deeply concerned about the safety of all 239 people onboard.
“We have activated the emergency mechanism and dispatched specialized search and rescue vessels and marine police boats to the relevant sea areas to fully engage in search and rescue work,” he said.
“Time is life, and human life is above all else,” Li said, adding the top priority now was to swiftly find out the facts and intensify the search and rescue effort through various channels.
“We expect Malaysia to exert all efforts to cooperate with relevant countries, such as Vietnam, to find the missing plane as soon as possible, seize the golden window of opportunity for finding survivors, and do the utmost to launch rescue operations,” he said.
“Meanwhile, emotions of the relatives of the passengers should be taken good care of,” he said, “China stands ready to keep close cooperation with Malaysia and I am ready to keep communication with you at any time.”
Najib extended his deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the Chinese passengers.
Malaysia was working closely with other countries in the region where the plan disappeared to locate its position as quickly as possible and to carry out an all-out search and rescue operation, he said.
Malaysia was sending a working group to Beijing to help deal with matters relating to the tragedy, and was ready to maintain contact and cooperation with China in this regard, he added.