Q: A boat carrying 28 Chinese tourists was reported missing on the night of January 28 on its way to Pulau Mengalum, Sabah, Malaysia. Can you update us on the search and rescue operation? What efforts have been made by the Chinese side?
A: On the night of January 28, a catamaran with 28 Chinese tourists and 3 local crew members on board sank en route for Pulau Mengalum, Sabah, Malaysia. As instructed by President Xi Jinping and at the request of Premier Li Keqiang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry asked the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia and Consulate-General in Kota Kinabalu to activate emergency response mechanisms. The Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia lodged representations with the Malaysian side, requiring them to spare no effort in searching. The Consulate-General in Kota Kinabalu has sent officials to Malaysia's search and rescue center to coordinate with them. Up till now, 20 Chinese tourists have been rescued and 3 bodies recovered while five others are still missing. The Consulate-General has sent the survivors to the local hospital for treatment. We deeply mourn for the victims and express condolences to the bereaved families.
The Chinese side hopes that the Malaysian side will continue with the search and rescue work in all their strength, inform the Chinese side with the developments in a timely fashion, treat and make appropriate arrangements for the survivors, preserve the bodies of the victims, properly deal with the follow-up matters, and carry out unbiased and impartial investigation into the shipwreck in a bid to find out the cause of the incident.