BEIJING: China is putting pressure on Malaysia to improve its coordination over the search for the Boeing 777 which disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Saturday.
Of the 239 people on board, up to 154 are Chinese.
Premier Li Keqiang demanded a step up in coordination while China’s civil aviation chief said he wanted a ‘smoother’ flow of information from Malaysia, which has been heavily criticised for its handling of the incident.
“We won’t give up as long as there is a shred of hope, and we urge Malaysia not to miss any clue and speed up search and rescue work,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
The Shanghai Daily quoted Qin as saying: “We hope to enhance communication with Malaysia and strengthen coordination with search and rescue ships from other countries.”
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing early on Saturday with 239 people on board, including 154 Chinese nationals, when the Boeing 777-200 vanished from radar screens.
The multinational search entered its seventh day on Friday.
Nearly 40 aircraft and 42 ships from 12 countries and regions, including China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, are scouring the waters around the jet’s last known location, but no substantive clues have been found. China has sent eight ships and several aircraft to help with the search.
Malaysia Airlines said search efforts have been extended to land.
A Chinese work team sent to Kuala Lumpur headed by Guo Shaochun, deputy director of consular affairs at the Foreign Ministry, held a three-hour meeting on Wednesday with the Chinese passengers’ family members who arrived in the Malaysian capital.
Guo called on Malaysia to provide timely and accurate information to the family members, saying that items of information from various sources are quite complicated and sometimes contradictory.
“The Chinese work team requires a smooth flow of information be maintained. We will not leave until the aircraft is located,” Guo said.
Relatives in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur have been frustrated by a lack of accurate information.
Authorities have not ruled out any possible cause for the plane’s disappearance, including mechanical failure, pilot error, sabotage and terrorism.