Interview: China-Australia cooperation at new heights during Malaysian airliner search

2014-03-25 06:43:27 GMT2014-03-25 14:43:27(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

CANBERRA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight MH730 has brought Australia and China together in an unprecedented cooperation, the head of an Australian government agency to foster relations with China said Tuesday.

"The tragedy that the world has watched unfold has brought cooperation levels to new heights in search and rescue," Australia- China Council Chair Warwick Smith said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

"I think the collaboration between China and Australia has been a very, very strong feature, and the capability sharing and the information sharing has been something that I think is well worthwhile," Smith said.

"We feel for all the families and I think it's a very sad situation for both Australia and China. So many Chinese lost their lives so we're pleased to be able to help."

Smith was speaking at a function where Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that the biggest-ever Australian trade delegation will visit China next month.

Before the function, Abbott gave a brief statement, saying the families of those who are presumed to have died on MH370 would be welcomed in Australia if they wanted to come during the recovery operation.

In his speech to the Asia Society, Abbott said it was telling that on the eve of his trip, Chinese and Japanese aircraft were together searching the southern Indian Ocean for signs of MH307 under the coordination of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and South Korean aircraft were also on the way.

"In the search for flight MH370, the countries of our region have demonstrated an ability to work together in a good cause," said Abbott.

"Deep down, what peoples have in common is always more important than anything that divides us."

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