China on Wednesday welcomed the decision by Japan to send military aircraft to help locate a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, with multinational search operations still having found no trace of the jet carrying 239 people days after it vanished.
The Japanese government is set to dispatch four military aircraft to join the widening search operations to find the Boeing 777 plane, which disappeared from radar early Saturday while en route to Beijing.
Asked about the Japanese government's decision, China's foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters during a regular press briefing that, "I believe that, in light of such an incident, Malaysia, China and all of their neighboring countries have concerns in common."
"And they all welcome and appreciate other countries sending vessels and aircraft for search and rescue," Qin said.
The Malaysian airline said 14 nationalities were among the passengers, including 154 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans.
Qin also urged the Malaysian side to step up search efforts and not to give up search operations "as long as there is the slightest hope." (Yonhap)