|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Beijing, capital of China, May 29, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)|
BEIJING, May 29 -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday urged Malaysia to formulate a new plan for the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
"We expect Malaysia to take the leading and coordinating role, come up with a new search plan for the jet at an early date, and take the investigation seriously," Li said in talks with visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is on a six-day official visit to China.
Li reviewed China's cooperation with Malaysia since the plane went missing on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. "We have never stopped our search efforts and place great importance on this situation's investigation and settlement," he said.
Li called on Malaysia to respond to the legitimate appeals of passengers' families and properly settle such issues.
"Let me once again express sorrow and condolences to the next of kin, and to the families involved. We owe it to them to continue the search," Najib said.
He said Malaysia will continue to conduct the search together with China, Australia and other countries, "because this tragic incident is so complex and unprecedented, and requires the cooperation of several countries if we want to be successful."
Najib stressed his commitment to finding "solutions and answers to what really happened to this aircraft and do whatever we can to help and soothe the feelings of the next of kin."
On the issue of territorial tensions in the South China Sea, both leaders advocated solving disputes through direct negotiations between the parties concerned, avoiding actions that may lead to complication and escalation of the situation, and safeguarding peace and stability.
Najib's China visit comes as the two countries are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.
Calling Malaysia a friendly neighbor and important partner of China in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Li said the two countries have achieved great progress in boosting their friendship and cooperation over the past 40 years.
Recalling Chinese President Xi Jinping's successful trip to Malaysia last year, Li pledged to take the opportunity of commemorating the 40th anniversary to strengthen political trust with Malaysia, enhance strategic communication and cooperation, and enrich the China-Malaysia partnership.
He called on both sides to give full play to bilateral trade consultation mechanisms, take advantage of the policies of the China-ASEAN free trade area, and make joint efforts to meet the goal of 160 billion U.S. dollars in bilateral trade by 2017.
The Chinese premier urged more cooperation in infrastructure building and connectivity, quicker construction of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and its sister park in Kuantan, a port city in Malaysia.
He also suggested enhanced cooperation in investment and finance, and expanded use of national currency in trade and investment.
Furthermore, Li asked both sides to step up efforts in building the Asian infrastructure investment bank, and to cooperate more in such areas as aviation, defense, judicial affairs, agriculture and culture.
They should cement coordination in regional and global affairs, and jointly boost China-ASEAN as well as East Asia cooperation, Li urged.
Najib, for his part, hailed the great achievements in ties over the years, calling on China and Malaysia to cherish and carry forward bilateral friendship that embodies the wisdom of efforts of the two countries' leaders and peoples.
He agreed with Li's proposals for closer cooperation, vowing to expand win-win joint work with China in trade, investment, finance, infrastructure building, agriculture, automobiles and culture.
Najib pledged to work with China to build the 21st century maritime Silk Road and the Asian infrastructure investment bank.
After their talks, they witnessed the signing of several cooperation documents regarding trade, culture, technology and investment.
China and Malaysia announced their intention to set up a Malaysian Consulate General in Nanning of China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Chinese Consulate Generals in the Malaysian cities of Penang and Kota Kinabalu.
Najib started his China visit on Tuesday in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. He arrived in Beijing on Wednesday.