China issued a statement on Jan 29 expressing its deepest sympathy to relatives and loved ones of the passengers of Malaysian Airline flight MH370.
The Malaysian government officially declared on Jan 29 that the disappearance of the flight was an accident and said there were no survivors.
“At this moment of sadness, the Chinese government expresses its deepest sorrow for the misery of those on board, and offers its profound sympathies and sincere condolences to their families,’’ according to a written statement released on Jan 29 by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
The plane, carrying 239 people, including 154 Chinese, disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
The families of those on board “have been gripped by enormous anxiety and grief’’, Hua said.
“In the wake of the incident, Malaysia has made strenuous efforts in searching for the aircraft, conducting investigations and offering consolation to the families of the passengers.
“Australia and many other countries and international organizations have provided significant support and assistance to the search of the aircraft and other operations. China hereby expresses its deep appreciation and gratitude for all these efforts,” Hua said.
The entire Chinese nation has been deeply concerned about the fate of their fellow countrymen aboard MH370, she said.
President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other Party and State leaders have ensured on numerous occasions that every possible effort was made to locate the aircraft, Hua added.
The Chinese government mobilized massive resources in the unprecedented search operation. The search efforts included using 21 satellites, 19 vessels, 13 aircraft and over 2,500 personnel and Chinese experts were dispatched to the investigation.
Consoling the families of MH370 passengers is another priority for the Chinese government, and officials at various levels have paid visits to the relatives of Chinese passengers, the spokeswoman said.
A reception office to help the families and local working groups has been set up under the interagency working platform. Thousands of government personnel and volunteers worked day and night to provide legal advice, medical aid, psychological counseling and other services to the families, she said.
“We know it must be extremely hard for the families to come to terms with the MH370 accident. We wish to assure the families of all the Chinese passengers that they are always on the mind of the Party and the government, who will be with them through these trying times.
“We hope the families will stay strong at this difficult moment,” Hua said.
According to the spokeswoman, China called on Malaysia to act on the commitments made in the official statement declaring the accident, fulfill its obligations of compensation, protect the lawful rights and interests of the families and provide them with support and assistance.
“We also call on Malaysia to remain fully committed to the search and investigation efforts and keep the families updated on the latest progress,” Hua said.
The Chinese government will work closely with the governments of Malaysia and Australia, actively participate in the search and investigation efforts, provide the families with all necessary services and uphold their lawful rights and interests, Hua added.