BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese forces, including eight vessels and five helicopters, will cover 19,768 square km of waters on Thursday in search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Chinese forces have searched 23,282 square km of waters suspected to be the missing site of the jet as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center said.
China's vice minister of transport He Jianzhong called for all information to be comprehensively analyzed and flexibility in the search operation. He said that China will be in close contact with Malaysia's search forces and inform Malaysia of its search plans.
Meanwhile, Chinese merchant ships are travelling in the Strait of Malacca and will help provide assistance, He said.
He added the center will work with relevant Chinese authorities in stepping up satellite surveillance work.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 left Kuala Lumpur at 0:41 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m..
Contact with the aircraft was lost while it was over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.
The flight was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, including more than 150 Chinese.