China, Australia PM agree to step up efforts in searching for missing jetliner

From: Xinhua Updated: 2014-04-03 09:05
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BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, agreed to continue to make all-out efforts to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in a phone conversation on Wednesday.

Abbott updated the Chinese premier with the latest developments in the search and rescue mission, as well as the ongoing investigation.

Li appreciated what the Australian side has done in searching for the missing plane.

"The search is now faced with even more complexities and hardships," Li said, adding that he expected the two sides to continue doing all they can instead of slacking off or even giving up, Li said.

To join the multinational search, China has already sent more than 10 ships and many aircraft to relocate, recover and review suspicious items spotted via airborne observation, said Li.

He also said Beijing has asked more than 60 passing merchant ships with Chinese nationality and 20 Chinese fishing boats operating in the Indian Ocean to help with the search.

The Chinese side will continue to cooperate and communicate closely with the relevant agencies in Australia, Malaysia and other parties to make all-out efforts as the search goes on, while at the same time conducting a thorough investigation, Li said.

Abbott, for his part, spoke highly of China's input, saying his country is willing to work with China, Malaysia and others in bettering their communications and cooperation, and will step up its search efforts to the best of its ability.

The Australian prime minister also told Li that he is looking forward to the upcoming annual gatherings of the Boao Forum for Asia in China's southern Province of Hainan, saying he expected to exchange views on how to promote Australia-China ties.

Australia is ready to work with China to speed up their talks over a bilateral trade agreement so as to deepen cooperation, he added.

In response, Li said his Australian counterpart has been committed to boosting a strategic partnership between the two sides since taking office, adding that Beijing highly values its relations with Canberra.

The Chinese premier also said that he believes Abbott's China visit next week, as well as their talks, will inject fresh impetus into the development of bilateral ties.

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