Chinese, Australian PMs discuss MH370 flight

Updated: 2014-05-01 08:43


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Chinese, Australian PMs discuss MH370 flight

The Phoenix International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Artemis, also known as the Bluefin-21, is prepared for deployment from the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean in this undated picture released on April 21, 2014 by the Australian Defence Force. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday held phone talks with his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, to discuss the search for a missing Malaysian jetliner and relations between the two countries.

After being briefed on the next phase of search operation for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Li said the international community had made tremendous efforts in the hunt for the ill-fated plane.

Chinese, Australian PMs discuss MH370 flight

China greatly appreciates Australia's coordination in the multinational mission in the southern Indian Ocean and support for Chinese vessels and aircraft that participated in the search, he added.

He noted that with seabed search to be expanded to a much larger area, the operation entered a new phase while Australian, Malaysian and Chinese ships would continue to hunt the jetliner.

In face of more difficulties, the operation must go ahead without the slightest slack, Li said, adding that it was the three countries' obligations to the families of all the people on board.

The premier said China was willing to work with all parties on a plan for the new phase of search and would try its utmost to actively participate in the operation.

China is ready to send high-ranking officials to a ministerial meeting of the three countries on the search work early next month, he said.

On bilateral relations and Abbott's recent visit to China, Li said he hoped that the two sides would strengthen cooperation to ensure the success of the Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Group of 20 Leaders' Meeting, hosted respectively by China and Australia this year.

Abbott said his country would intensify the seabed hunt for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean and expand the search area. He lauded the active participation of Chinese aircraft and vessels in the previous phase of search.

Australia is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with China and Malaysia on the next phase, he said, expressing his hope for the two countries' continuous support.

Australia is also ready to make concerted efforts with China to continue to strengthen their strategic partnership, said the prime minister.