|Captain Liu Zhonghu looks into distance with telescopes aboard Chinese navy ship Jinggangshan, March 20, 2014. The Chinese navy search fleets have been deployed toward the southern Indian Ocean where suspicious debris of missing Malaysia Airlines plane were spotted earlier Thursday. (Xinhua/Bai Ruixue)|
BEIJING, March 20 -- Chinese naval vessels are heading for the south Indian Ocean to search for the missing Malaysian airplane after Australian authorities reported that suspicious objects were found.
The Chinese navy currently has two fleets engaged in the search missions. They are about 2,300 and 3,100 nautical miles, respectively, from the waters where possible debris of the missing MH370 were found, navy spokesman Liang Yang said on Thursday.
The navy adjusted its search focus immediately after receiving the report from Australia.
According to Wednesday's plan, the Jinggangshan amphibious docking vessel was leading a fleet through the Malacca Strait and into waters west of the Andaman Islands. Another fleet consisting of supply ship Qiandaohu, missile destroyer Haikou and amphibious transport dock Kunlunshan were heading for waters southwest of Sumatra through the Sunda Strait.
Australian authorities said earlier Thursday that two objects, with the large one about 24 meters long, had been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery, and that they might be related to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
China hopes Australia can confirm whether the two objects are related to the plane as soon as possible, said Chinese ambassador Ma Zhaoxu.