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Emarks by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying on Malaysia's Statement Declaring MH370 an Accident

Since the incident of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took place, the families of those on board, including 154 Chinese nationals, have been gripped by enormous anxiety and grief. Today, based on available satellite data of the aircraft and results of the search operation to date and in compliance with the provisions of the relevant international convention, Malaysia has declared MH370 an accident. At this moment of sadness, the Chinese government expresses its deep sorrow for the misery of those on board, and offers its profound sympathies and sincere condolences to their families.

In the wake of the incident, Malaysia has made important efforts in searching for the aircraft, conducting investigations and offering consolation to the families of the passengers. Australia and many other countries and international organizations have provided significant support and assistance to the search of the aircraft and other operations. China hereby expresses its deep appreciation and gratitude for all these efforts.

Since 8 March 2014, the entire Chinese nation has been deeply concerned about the fate of their fellow countrymen aboard MH370. General Secretary Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other Party and state leaders have given important instructions on numerous occasions to make sure that every possible effort is made to locate the aircraft. The Chinese government mobilized massive resources in this unprecedented search operation, including 21 satellites, 19 vessels, 13 aircraft and over 2,500 personnel and Chinese experts were dispatched to get deeply involved in the investigation. Consoling the families of MH370 passengers is another priority for the Chinese government. Officials at various levels have paid visits to the relatives of Chinese passengers. A reception office to help the families and local working groups have been set up under the inter-agency working platform. Thousands of government personnel and volunteers worked day and night to provide legal advice, medical aid, psychological counselling and other services to the families.

We know it must be extremely hard for the families to come to terms with the MH370 accident. We wish to assure the families of all the Chinese passengers that they are always on the mind of the Party and the government, who will be with them through these trying times. We hope the families will stay strong at this difficult moment and try to resume their normal life at an early date.

We call on the Malaysian side to act on the commitments made in the statement, fulfill its obligation of compensation, protect the lawful rights and interests of the families and provide them with support and assistance. We also call on the Malaysian side to remain fully committed to the search and investigation efforts and keep the families updated on the latest progress. The Chinese government will work closely with the governments of Malaysia and Australia, actively participate in the search and investigation efforts, provide the families with all necessary services and uphold their lawful rights and interests.

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