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China to continue search for missing plane as long as there is glimmer of hope: Premier

Updated: Mar 13,2014 4:13 PM     Xinhua

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a press conference after the closing meeting of the second annual session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2014. [Xinhua]

BEIJING - China will not give up its efforts in searching for a missing Malaysia Airlines flight with 154 Chinese aboard “as long as there is a glimmer of hope,” Premier Li Keqiang said on March 13.

Li made the remarks at a press conference shortly after the conclusion of China’s annual legislative session.

“We will not give up any suspected clue that is being found,” he said. “We are also looking very closely at all suspected clues showing on satellite images.”

His remarks came after a Chinese satellite found three floating objects at a suspected site of the missing plane.

The satellite images, which are being analyzed, showed that the objects on the South China Sea were spreading across an area with a radius of 20 kilometers.

Li said that the Chinese government has asked all relevant parties in the ongoing massive international search to enhance coordination to investigate the cause and to locate the missing plane as soon as possible.

The Chinese government has activated a comprehensive contingency response and search operation, according to the premier.

Currently there are eight Chinese vessels in the related waters and another one is on its way towards the respected waters, he said, adding that 10 satellites are now being used to provide information and technological support.

“The Chinese government and Chinese people are all deeply concerned about safety of the plane,” he said. “We are all eagerly awaiting news about the plane, even a slightest piece of good news.”

Flight MH370 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members vanished on March 8 on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing after losing contact with air traffic control in waters between Malaysia and Vietnam.

The international search for the missing flight, which has so far involved at least 40 ships and nearly 40 aircraft from 12 countries, entered its sixth day on March 13, but the whereabouts of the Boeing 777-200 remains unknown.

Li also said the incident will not affect China’s opening-up policy, in response to a question raised by a journalist.

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