Representatives of the Malaysia Airlines bow to the media before the press conference in Beijing on missing flight MH 370 on March 9, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Quanchao)
BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- China is making an all-out effort to search and rescue the Malaysia Airlines flight that has been missing since Saturday morning as the whole country continues to pray for the safety of the passengers onboard.
"As of now, the search and the rescue team has yet to determine the whereabouts of the MH370," said the airline's spokesman at a press conference in Beijing early Sunday, which lasted less than 30 minutes.
Once the whereabouts of the aircraft is determined, the airline will fly members of the families to the location, according to the spokesman.
Around 120 relatives and friends of passengers on the missing jet have arrived in Beijing and have been accommodated at the Lido hotel near the capital airport.
Upon the approval of the Central Military Commission, two warships of the Chinese navy, "Jinggangshan" and "Mianyang", are already on their way to the possible site of the missing jet, navy sources said.
The amphibious landing ship "Jinggangshan", loaded with life-saving equipments, underwater detection facilities and supplies of oil, water and food, set out from Zhanjiang port of south China's Guangdong Province at about 3:00 a.m. on Sunday for search and rescue mission.
The vessel carries a 14-strong medical contingent and a underwater rescue team consisted of 10 divers.
Two helicopters as well as 52 marines, carrying assault boats and rubber dinghies, are also on board.
Another Chinese navy frigate "Mianyang," which was on a mission in the Nansha waters when receiving the command, left for the suspected area at about 11:50 p.m. Saturday night.
Vessel "Mianyang" is expected to reach the suspected waters by 7:30 a.m. Monday while "Jinggangshan" may arrive by 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, the sources said.
The MOT has urged all Chinese ships passing the sea area to pay close attention and make timely reports.
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft left the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Saturday, and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day.
Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.
On board were 227 passengers from 14 countries, including 154 Chinese, and 12 Malaysian flight crew.
Chinese maritime search and rescue has established cooperation with Malaysian and Vietnamese counterparts, and hopes the two countries can help find the exact location of the plane soon.
The whole country has joined the families of the passengers aboard missing plane to pray for their safety.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Chinese embassies and consulates to strengthen contact with departments of relevant countries and pay close attention to the search and rescue work for the missing plane.
All-out efforts must be made for any emergency treatment necessary in the aftermath of the incident, Xi said in his instruction.
The MOT and the CAAC must launch emergency measures immediately and enhance security checks to ensure the "absolute safety" of China's civil aviation operation, according to the president.
Premier Li Keqiang also instructed the government to intensify communication and contact with civil aviation agencies of Malaysia, urging them to strengthen the search effort.
He also called for details of the Chinese passengers aboard the plane to be verified as soon as possible.
Relevant departments should cooperate with foreign parties to prepare for emergency rescue and liaise with passengers' families in a timely and appropriate manner, Li said.
Yang Chuantang, Chinese minister of transport, announced the launch of the highest-degree emergency response mechanism.
The ministry is closely observing the incident and actively coordinating with domestic authorities as well as maritime rescue authorities and civil aviation administrations in Malaysia and Vietnam.h The CAAC demanded its air traffic management office keep in touch with its Malaysian counterpart, and ordered Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) to comfort relatives and friends of the passengers aboard the missing flight.
In Pictures: Head of CAAC answers questions on missing Malaysian plane in Beijing
Still nothing able to be located: Malaysian DCA official
KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Rescue operations in hunt for a missing Malaysian jet have continued overnight, but nothing was able to be located so far, a Malaysian civil aviation official said here Sunday morning.
Department of Civil Aviation Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told a a press conference that they lost contact with the plane at 1:30 a.m. local time on Saturday. Full Story
Chinese warships on way to rescue mission
ZHANJIANG, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Two warships of the Chinese navy, "Jinggangshan" and "Mianyang", are on their way to sea area where missing Malaysia Airline flight MH 370 may have crashed, navy sources said.
The vessel "Jinggangshan", loaded with life-saving equipments, underwater detection facilities and supplies of water and food, set out from Zhanjiang city of south China's Guangdong Province at about 3:00 a.m. on Sunday for search and rescue mission. Full story
Largest patrol vessel in S China Sea en route to rescue mission
GUANGZHOU, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The largest vessel in South China Sea "Haixun 31" is heading for Sanya city in south China's Hainan province, where it will standby for search and rescue mission for missing Malaysian Airline flight.
The vessel left Maoming Port in Guangdong at 9:00 p.m., where it will wait for orders of deployment, the Guangdong provincial bureau of marine affairs said. Full story
Chinese divers, salvage experts en route to rescue mission
BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese divers and salvagers sent by the Ministry of Transport are on their way to the sea area where the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines jet is suspected to have fallen into.
The emergency team is expected to arrive in Sanya city of south China's Hainan Province Sunday morning and get on board a vessel bound for the sea area.Full story
Xi urges Malaysia flight emergency response
BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday urged emergency measures over the missing Malaysian flight bound for Beijing with more than 150 Chinese nationals on board.
Xi ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Chinese embassies and consulates to strengthen contact with departments of relevant countries and pay close attention to the search and rescue work for the plane, which lost contact with traffic controllers at 1:20 a.m. on Saturday. Full story
Chinese Premier asks Malaysia to act quickly over missing plane
BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held emergency talks over the phone Saturday with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on the loss of contact of the Malaysia Airlines flight.
Premier Li said the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing early Saturday morning carried 154 Chinese passengers and the Chinese government and people were deeply concerned about the safety of all 239 people onboard. Full story
China launches emergency mechanism after Malaysian flight carrying 160 Chinese lost contact
BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China has launched an emergency mechanism after a flight carrying some 160 Chinese lost contact with air controllers earlier Saturday.
"We are very worried after learning the news. We are trying to get in touch with relevant parties to check it out," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a written statement on Saturday morning.Full Story
Malaysian passenger plane with 239 people aboard loses contact with air traffic control, including 160 Chinese nationals
KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 (Xinhua) -- A Malaysian passenger plane carrying 239 people, including 227 passengers and 12 crew members, has lost contact with air traffic control after leaving Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, the carrier said Saturday.
Malaysia Airlines said flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200, lost touch with Subang Air Traffic Control around 02:40 a.m. local time Saturday morning (1840 GMT Friday).Full Story