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MISSING MH370: 3 countries end South China Sea search
Publication Date : 16-03-2014
Three Asean countries, including Singapore, have ceased their search for MH370 in the South China Sea as China demanded that Malaysia provide "thorough, correct information" on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
The Singapore Armed Forces said in a statement yesterday that it would continue to support search efforts in the Strait of Malacca and stood ready to provide further assistance.
Vietnam and Thailand also stopped the search after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur that the Beijing-bound plane had deviated from its original path and its communication system had been shut down. He would not say that the plane was hijacked.
In Beijing, a Foreign Ministry spokesman demanded that Malaysia do more.
"We urge Malaysia to expand and define the search area for the missing plane and increase the intensity of the search," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told state broadcaster CCTV, using strong language that reflected Beijing's frustration with Kuala Lumpur's handling of the missing jetliner with 239 people, including 153 Chinese nationals, on board.
His remarks followed similar calls made by China after a week of false leads, conflicting information from Malaysian officials and sometimes confusion added to the anguish of the relatives of the missing passengers.
Qin said "Chinese technical specialists are on the way to Malaysia to help in the investigation".
Since MH370 went missing on March 8, 13 countries have been involved in a massive search covering the South China Sea, the Strait of Malacca and also the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean.