BEIJING, March 20 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a phone conversation Thursday over possible objects from a missing Malaysian jetliner.
Abbott briefed Xi on the latest developments in Australia's search mission.
Australia had dispatched aircraft and warships to the sea area in the southern Indian Ocean, more than 3,000 km southwest off Perth, where suspicious objects possibly related to the missing plane were found through satellite images, he said.
Voicing appreciation for Abbott's briefing on the new developments of Australia's search operation and its cooperation with China, Xi said the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is a calamity.
"Since the plane lost contact, our hearts have been with the lives of the people from different countries on board the plane, including 154 Chinese and six Australians," Xi said.
The president said that upon learning of the incident, he immediately instructed departments concerned to go all out for search and rescue and prepare for all emergency work.
Many countries, including Australia, participated in search and rescue, he said, adding that China thanked Australia for its role in the operation along the southern corridor, a search area stretching from Indonesia deep into the southern Indian Ocean.
Although search and rescue is undergoing difficulties due to the complicated circumstances in relevant waters, Xi said, full efforts should be made as long as there is still a gleam of hope.
He voiced the hope that Australia and other relevant parties would continue to do their utmost in the search and inform China of developments as soon as possible.
China also hopes that Australia could provide help in China's search operation, Xi said.
China is willing to maintain close communication and cooperation with Australia, he said.
At this difficult moment, the sincere cooperation between China and Australia shows that the hearts of the two peoples are linked, said Xi.
Abbott said Australia would continue to make every effort in the search and rescue and in investigation. Australia is ready to cooperate and share information promptly with China, he said.