|Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang addresses the press conference held at the Chinese embassy in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, on March 18, 2014. No passenger from Chinese mainland aboard the missing MH370 flight might be involved in hijack or terror attack, Chinese ambassador to Malaysia said on Tuesday. Background check on all passengers from Chinese mainland has found no evidence to support that suspicion, Huang Huikang said. (Xinhua/He Jingjia)|
KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 -- An investigation into the backgrounds of all passengers from Chinese mainland on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has found no evidence suggesting they are linked to sabotage or terror attack, Chinese ambassador to Malaysia said on Tuesday.
Background checks on all passengers from Chinese mainland have found no evidence to support that suspicion, Huang Huikang said at a media conference in the Chinese embassy here, adding that passengers from Chinese mainland can now be cleared of suspicion in principle.
One of the focuses of investigation is on the crew members, among whom there might be one or more professionals knowing how to fly a plane and shut down the plane's communication system, the ambassador said.
New search areas announced on Saturday encompass a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand as well as a second southern one estimated from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Huang said China has started searching its territory along the northern corridor and satellites and radar have been utilized for the search, adding that Chinese navy ships and other ships are on standby and ready to go to the new search areas.
The search and rescue operation for now should focus on narrowing the search areas and ruling out one corridor, according to the ambassador. He also called for enhanced international cooperation in the massive multinational search mission.
China has been involved in the search for flight MH370 since the airliner went missing on March 8. It has also cooperated and been in close contact with Malaysia, which demonstrated the maturity of the two countries' strategic cooperative partnership, Huang said.
Malaysia does not have enough experience or ability to handle this emergency, which has led to information disorder and wild- spread rumors, he said, adding that Malaysia has tried its best and the media should judge objectively without putting too much blame on it.
Huang said some information, which was gathered during the investigation, is not proper to make public at the moment. That is why the Malaysian government has always emphasized that they will not reveal a piece of information until it is corroborated and will not affect investigation. "I think that is what a responsible government does," he said.
Huang said as far as he knows, no group or individual has claimed the incident is an organized terror attack or lodged any political appeal.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing in the early hours of March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 people on board, including 154 Chinese passengers, including one from Hong Kong and one from Taiwan.
A multinational search has so far failed to determine its whereabouts, and what happened to the plane remains a mystery.