China to Continue Search for Missing Plane “as Long as there is a Glimmer of Hope”: Premier

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 Thursday.

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.” He 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.

Meanwhile Malaysia’s Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the country has dispatched an aircraft to the site where Chinese satellites photographed three “suspected floating objects” in the search for a missing Malaysia passenger jet.

China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) said on its website on Wednesday that the three suspected objects were monitored at 6.7 degrees north latitude and 105.63 degrees east longitude, spreading across an area with a radius of 20 kilometers.

Previously Aircraft and vessels sent out by Vietnam on Thursday have found no debris in the waters where Chinese satellites spotted three floating objects in the hunt for the missing Malaysian airlines flight, Vietnamese Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu said on Thursday.

Vietnam authorities dispatched two aircraft and two ships to fly over the waters off the Vietnam’s southern coast where Chinese satellites photographed suspected floating objects, said Pham, who is leading a frontline command in Phu Quoc Island.

In addition, four aircraft were sent by the Vietnam air force to search the land area in Vietnam’s southern part. These comprise one seaplane and two An-26 aircraft that took off from Ho Chi Minh City and a Mi-171 helicopter from the Ca Mau airport in southern Vietnam.

However, the land area searches across the province of Kien Giang, located in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam, and U Minh Thuong national forest park yielded no clues, air force officials said.

Kien Giang is located about 250 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh while U Minh Thuong National Park or Upper U Minh National Park is located in the province of Kien Giang.

A huge international search operation has been mostly focused on the shallow waters of the Gulf of Thailand off Malaysia’s east coast. Vietnam has been searching off its eastern coast of Phu Quoc island as well as its western shoreline.

The Strait of Malacca has been included since Sunday but the search there has remained futile so far.

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