BEIJING/KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang vowed Thursday that his country will not give up its efforts in searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
As the multinational hunt entered day six for the Beoing 777 aircraft,which suddenly disappeared from radar early Saturday morning while carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, no solid leads about its whereabouts have been found so far.
"We will not give up any suspected clue that is being found," Li said at a press conference in Beijing. "We are also looking very closely at all suspected clues showing on satellite images."
The Chinese government, he said, urges all parties involved in the search to enhance coordination so as to locate the missing plane as soon as possible.
Among the 227 passengers aboard the ill-fated plane, 154 are Chinese. Beijing has launched an all-out search and rescue mission, with eight vessels scouring waters around MH370's last confirmed location and 10 satellites providing technological support in the space.
The China Maritime Search and Rescue Center said Thursday that Chinese search teams searched 23,282 square km of waters as of 6 p.m. (1000 GMT) Wednesday and will cover 19,768 square km on Thursday.
The latest clue emerged Wednesday evening when 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.
The images, which were captured around 11 a.m. Sunday, show that the objects measure 13 by 18 meters, 14 by 19 meters and 24 by 22 meters, respectively, said SASTIND, adding that the discovery is being analyzed.
According to the agency, the objects were spotted in the South China Sea at 6.7 degrees north latitude and 105.63 degrees east longitude and spread across an area with a radius of 20 km.
It remains unclear whether the suspicious items originate from the missing plane. Previously detected pieces of debris have all turned out to be false alarms.
In yet another twist of the mystery around MH370, Malaysian Air Force chief Rodzali Daud told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday that an unidentified object was plotted on military radar at 2:15 a.m. Saturday over the northern Malacca Strait.
The last definitive sighting on civilian radar was recorded around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, less than an hour after the plane took off from Kuala Lumpur, as it flew northeast over Vietnamese waters.
"I am not saying it's flight MH370. We are still corroborating this. It was an unidentifiable plot," Daud said.
The air force chief denied reports that military radar tracked MH370 flying over the Strait of Malacca, but he did not rule out the possibility that the aircraft might have turned back before disappearing.
In order to help unravel the mystery and find the plane as soon as possible, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has proposed sending an expert team to Malaysia.
Malaysia's special envoy, Ong Ka Ting, said the Malaysian government will give priority to China's proposal and open a communication channel between the aviation authorities of the two sides swiftly.
More than 80 ships and planes from around a dozen contributors are now combing the waters on both sides of the Malaysian peninsula to locate the missing plane.
The most urgent task now is to speed up the search and rescue operations, said Guo Shaochun, head of a Chinese task force, at a press conference held in the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
He also urged the Malaysian side "to listen carefully to the next of kin of the Chinese passengers and take swift actions to respond to the needs of the families."
Malaysia Airlines said it has deployed a total of 112 care-givers to provide the family members of MH370 passengers and crew "with emotional support and ensure their basis needs are met to try and make this difficult time relatively bearable."
In its latest statement, the carrier said the MH370 and MH371 flight codes will be retired from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route "as a mark of respect" to the passengers and crew of the missing plane.