China to search for plane 'as long as there is a glimmer of hope'

China to search for plane 'as long as there is a glimmer of hope'
An unidentified search and rescue ship is seen through the window of of a Vietnam Air Force aircraft AN-26 during a mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, that disappeared from radar screens in the early hours of Saturday, off Con Dao island March 12, 2014.

BEIJING - China will keep up the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 "as long as there is a glimmer of hope", Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday.

The 239 people on board included 153 Chinese citizens, and Li told his once-a-year press conference: "Those people's families and friends are burning with anxiety."

"The Chinese government and the Chinese people are all deeply concerned about their safety," he said.

"We are all eagerly awaiting news about the plane, even the slightest piece of good news." China had eight ships taking part in the search efforts, with a ninth on its way, and had deployed 10 satellites, he said.

He was speaking after it emerged that Chinese satellites had taken photographs on Sunday of possible floating objects in the sea around 200 kilometres from the flight's last known position.

The Boeing 777 plane vanished early Saturday en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and no confirmed trace of it has been found since.

"We will not give up on any suspected clue that has been found," Li said after the end of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's Communist-controlled legislature.

"The Chinese government has asked relevant parties to enhance coordination, investigate the cause, locate the missing plane as quickly as possible and properly handle all related matters," he added.










A map with a pin at 105.63 degrees longitude East and 6.7 degrees latitude North, where images of suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was captured by a Chinese satellite. (Screengrab: Google Maps)















At least 43 ships and 39 aircraft from Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, China, the US, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand have joined the search for the missing Boeing 777-200ER. India, Japan and Brunei joined the search operations on March 12. (Graphic: ST)

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