'No evidence' linking Chinese passengers to hijacking of MH370

By Stefan Van Assche, March 18, 2014

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China's ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said Tuesday that no individuals or groups had raised any political demands over the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370. He added that there is no evidence linking any of the 153 Chinese nationals on board to hijacking or terrorist attacks.

China had "conducted meticulous investigation into all the [Chinese] passengers, and did not find any evidence of sabotage activity," Huang told a press briefing in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday morning. "The key now is to narrow the search area and eliminate one of the two corridors."

After dropping off civilian radar, the plane reportedly flew for more than seven hours, leaving two flight corridors as the focus of the search: one stretching from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and one from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. China had started searching part of the northern corridor which falls within Chinese territory.

China is also dispatching ships to aid in the maritime search. “There are major changes in our search strategy and plans due to the change of situations. The forces will head in two opposite directions, one northward and the other southward, starting today," a spokesperson told the China Post

China Communication News reports that four Chinese ships and three helicopters are charged with searching a 120,000 square kilometre (46,000 sq mile) area in the Bay of Bengal, west of the Andaman Islands, and another five ships and three helicopters would focus on a 180,000 square kilometre (69,000 square mile) narrow stretch of water southwest of Indonesia's Sumatra and Java islands. 

[Image via CNS]

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