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Objects spotted by China NOT MH370 debris

Last updated on: March 13, 2014 14:44 IST

Objects spotted by China NOT MH370 debris

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Mystery continued to shroud the Malaysian jetliner six days after it went missing as Vietnam said on Thursday that its aircraft and ships have not found any debris said to have been spotted by Chinese satellites.

Aircraft and vessels sent out by Vietnam on Thursday found no debris in the waters where Chinese satellites spotted three floating objects in the hunt for the missing Malaysian airlines flight, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Vietnamese Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu as saying.

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, Pham, who is leading a frontline command in Phu Quoc island said.

Earlier on Thursday, China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said a Chinese satellite has found three floating objects at a suspected site of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane but it was not sure whether it was the debris of the plane.

China pressed 10 satellites besides eight ships and three aircraft to conduct search operations.

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Image: The mysterious objects spotted by Chinese satellites
Photographs: China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence

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China asks Malaysia to step up coordination for search ops

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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 and Andaman Sea has been included since Sunday but the search there has remained futile so far.

Meanwhile Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has asked Malaysia to step up coordination for search operations.

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Image: A Chinese helicopter takes off from a warship to search the waters suspected to be the site of the missing flight MH370
Photographs: Reuters

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'As far as there is a glimmer of hope we will not stop searching for the plane'

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Without directly referring to Malaysia he said 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.

"Hundred and fifty-four of the 239 people on board on the Malaysian plane are Chinese. Those people's families are burning with anxiety. Chinese government and people are all deeply concerned about their safety," Li said here today.

"We are all eagerly awaiting the news of the plane, even the slightest piece of good news," he said minutes after China said its satellites picked up three floating objects between Malaysia and Vietnam which could belong to the Malaysian plane which went missing six days ago.

"As far as there is a glimmer of hope we will not stop searching for the plane," he said.

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Image: A woman writes a message of support and hope for the passengers of the missing MH370 on a banner at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Photographs: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

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'Incident not to impact China's 'opening up policy'

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Li also said the incident will not effect any policy changes permitting large number of Chinese tourists to visit abroad.

Over 80 million tourists visited abroad in 2012 spending over USD 102 billion, according to WTO.

While Malaysian officials denied any hint of terrorism in the incident, concerns are rising about the safety of large number Chinese travelling abroad.

"With respect to China's opening up policy there will be no change and China will continue to open itself to the outside world," Li said replying to question whether the incident will impact outbound tourism.

"In this course the growing number of Chinese people will make overseas trips. That will place greater responsibility on the shoulders of Chinese government. It will fully perform its duties and enhance cooperation with other countries and regions to ensure safety of overseas nationals," he said.


Image: A man watches a large screen showing different flights at the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Photographs: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

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