Australia praises Chinese help in lost MH 370 search

China’s contribution of ships and planes to the Indian Ocean search for the missing Malaysian airliner showed the trust and familiarity that had developed between the Chinese and Australian militaries, Australia’s Defense Chief Gen. David Hurley said on Monday.

Hurley and Defense Secretary Dennis Richardson told a Senate committee that relations between the two militaries were strong and remained unaffected by strategic rivalry between China - Australia’s most important trade partner - and Australia’s most important security ally, the United States. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel angered Beijing at a Singapore forum at the weekend by accusing China of undermining peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region through aggressive moves to claim jurisdiction over land and sky.

Hurley praised China’s contribution to the Australia-led search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which is thought to have crashed off the west Australian coast on March 8 with 239 people aboard, mostly Chinese passengers. He told a routine Senate inquiry into defense issues that the Chinese military ‘became very much part of the team.’ ‘That was sort of indicative of the knowledge and trust that had been built up over a number of years between the two defense organizations,’ Hurley said. The seabed search for the missing Boeing 777 ended last week without finding any wreckage. 

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