KUALA LUMPUR - China will contribute A$20 million (S$20.45 million) to the hunt for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the government reported on its website, the latest expansion of one of the costliest search missions in aviation history.
Chinese premier Li Keqiang made the announcement at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders on Saturday during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the statement said. "The Chinese side taking this action is in line with greatest respect for human beings," Li said. "We hope that Malaysia and Australia will continue the work of search and rescue and maintain productive communication with China." Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared in March last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.
The search for the plane has involved more than two dozen countries contributing planes, ships, submarines and satellites.
Leaders from China, whose citizens made up about two-thirds of those on the plane, have repeatedly said they will spare no effort in the search.
An initial A$120 million hunt along a rugged 60,000-sq km (23,000 sq miles) patch of sea floor off the coast of Perth had yielded no sign of the plane. The search was later extended to another 60,000 sq km, covering 95 percent of MH370's flight path, at a cost of A$50 million.
Search teams discovered a piece of wing on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean earlier this year and authorities believe it to be part of the wreckage of the Malaysian jet.