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Chinese ships focus on Bay of Bengal, Sunda Strait

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As we speak, Chinese ships and helicopters are traveling at full speed toward the Bay of Bengal and Sunda Strait where they will be combing through hundreds of thousands of square kilometers for signs of the missing plane. Meanwhile, high above them, a multi-national satellite search operation is also underway.

9 ships and 6 helicopters conducting what may be their most challenging mission yet.

Half the team will search the Bay of Bengal, while the other will comb the Sunda Strait.

Together, the two crews will cover roughly 300 thousand kilometers of water.

Zhuo Li, Deputy Director of China Maritime Search & Rescue Center, said, "We're facing a very complex search operation. This is an unprecedented operation in distant seas for us. And, our ships have been out on the waters for 10 days now. Logistical support will be an issue. Also, our new search zones are in the tropics. We expect very strong winds and waves."

Meanwhile, a 15-nation effort is being carried out high up in the sky.

21 Chinese satellites and 11 from other countries are now working around the clock to find any possible leads.

Experts are hopeful that the size of the aircraft will help lead to a breakthrough in he search.

"Land observation satellites can use imaging techniques to capture information on airplanes. The Boeing 777 aircraft, with a length of some 60 meters and width of 6.9 meters, should be easily observed by the satellite," said Lu Shuning, researcher of the Source Satellite Application Center.

The multi-nation satellite search is operating under the the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters. Although the charter has been activated over 600 times since being established back in 1997, the search for MH370 is still unprecedented.

"Past operations had fixed observation points, for example earthquakes. But this time, there isn't a clear target and the search zone is huge," said Wang Zhigang, researcher of the Source Satellite Application Center.

Meanwhile, on the ground, investigations into the cause of the missing plane continue. According to the Chinese ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, none of the Chinese nationals are suspected of playing a role in the plane's disappearance.

Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said, "China has conducted thorough investigations into the backgrounds of the 154 Chinese nationals on board the missing plane. We have found no signs of any sabotage or hijacking activities by these passengers."

The ambassador added that despite the long and difficult search, "as long as there is still a glimmer of hope, the government should continue to do its utmost".

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