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Li Keqiang Holds Telephone Talks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Request, Agreeing to Step up Search Efforts for the Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight and Exchanging Views on Deepening China-Australia Strategic Partnership

2014/04/02

In the morning of April 2, 2014, Premier Li Keqiang held telephone talks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at his request.

Tony Abbott first extended his condolences to the families of the Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. He briefed Li Keqiang on the latest updates of Australia’s search and investigation efforts and their considerations.

Li Keqiang thanked Abbott for his condolences and briefing. He praised the Australian side for its huge efforts in leading the coordination of the search operations in the South Indian Ocean at the request of the Malaysian government. He extended condolence to the families of Australian citizens on board the flight. Li Keqiang said, despite of increasing complexities and hardships facing the search operations at present, we will never slack, nor give up. We should continue our all-out efforts in the search. China has sent out over 10 vessels and ships and multiple aircrafts, coordinating with international search efforts to locate, recover and verify the suspected objects spotted overhead in the relevant waters. China has also asked more than 60 passing Chinese merchant ships and 20 Chinese fishing boats operating in the Indian Ocean to help with the search. I agreed to Mr. Prime Minister that we should step up the search efforts. It is our responsibility for the families of the crew and passengers on board. China will maintain close communication and cooperation with all parties involved, including Australia and Malaysia, to spare no efforts in search operations, while conducting in-depth investigations, so as to make joint efforts to ensure the relevant works going well.

Abbott thanked Li Keqiang for his condolences and spoke positively on search operations of the Chinese side. He said that Australia is willing to strengthen communications and cooperation with China, Malaysia and other parties concerned, and will further step up search efforts to the utmost of their ability, so as to well manage the relevant matters.

Abbott said that he is looking forward to the upcoming official visit to China, to attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, and to exchanging views on Australia-China relations with the Chinese side. Australia is willing to speed up the negotiations on Australia-China Free Trade Agreement and to deepen bilateral cooperation.

Li Keqiang said, Mr. Prime Minister has been committed to boosting China-Australia strategic partnership since taking office. The Chinese government highly values the relations with Australia. We welcome you to pay the official visit to China next week and to attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference. I am looking forward to the regular meetings with you, to inject fresh impetus into the development of China-Australia relations.

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