Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on March 11, 2019
Q: On March 10 local time, an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed after taking off from the capital of Ethiopia en route tothecapital of Kenya, killing all 157 people on board, including eight Chinese. We know that theSpokesperson of theForeign Ministry already issued a statement late last night. Do you have any updates for us?
A: On March 10, an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all people aboard, including eight Chinese citizens. We are deeply saddened by this incident. We want to express our deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathy to the bereaved families. Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, have sent messages of condolences to Ethiopian and Kenyan leaders respectively.
The Chinese Party and state leaders attach great importance to this incident and are very concerned about the Chinese citizens involved in this disaster. The Foreign Ministry and our Embassy in Ethiopia reacted immediately. Our Embassy in Ethiopia has established coordination and liaison mechanism with the Ethiopian side and made contacts with the families of the Chinese victims to assist them in dealing with the follow-up matters. To date, some preliminary information of the eight Chinese victims have been confirmed. Four were employees from Chinese companies. Two were UN staff. Two were from Liaoning province and Zhejiang province respectively, traveling for private purposes.
The latest information I have is that on the afternoon of March 10, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali went to the crash site to express his deep condolences to the victims. He also pledged necessary assistance to the bereaved families and urged relevant officials to make thorough investigations. At the current stage, investigation is still underway to determine the cause of the crash. A committee comprising of Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and Ethiopian Transport Authority has been set up to carry out the investigations. The Chinese side hopes that the Ethiopian side will determine the cause of the crash as soon as possible, provide information on the progress of the investigation in a timely manner, and properly deal with the follow-up matters. The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia will continue to closely follow the development of the situation and do our best to assist the families of the Chinese victims.