The China Maritime Search and Rescue Centre said it dispatched a navy vessel 872, which has "strong underwater search capacities", to the southern Indian Ocean off the Australian coast where the search operation was on for the past seven weeks, adding that China will go all out in the search for Flight MH370, the centre said.

The ship was expected to arrive there on May 10, Wang Zhenliang, deputy head of the centre said today acknowledging that the search will face more complicated situations in the southern Indian Ocean.

With 154 passengers of the total 239 onboard the plane being Chinese, China has taken a lead role in the search operation.

Defence officials here also regard it as an opportunity to test the limits of the fast developing Chinese navy.

China has sent a total of 18 naval vessels, 13 planes, and has used 21 satellites in the search operation.

The move to send a ship to the area came as most of the search teams are winding up their operations with no breakthrough so far.

Attempts by the American submersible Bluefin-21 to search the seabed have also not yielded any results so far.

Some Chinese analysts say that China should deploy its manned submersible, the Jialong, which in the recent past underwent successful deep dive testing.

Chinese officials say a definite plan about future search operations was expected to be an announced after a ministerial meeting between Malaysia, China and Australia.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines' decision to shut down assistance centres set up for relatives of passengers aboard the lost plane has left the families angry and confused.

The family members were asked to check out of the Lido Hotel in Beijing yesterday.

About 100 policemen and several ambulances were on stand-by in case of trouble.

"Why did they ask us to leave so suddenly? Why couldn't they have given us five or six more days?" asked a woman from Henan province, the South China Morning Post reported.

Chinese relatives have resorted to rare demonstrations in recent weeks to express their frustration over the delay in finding the plane.

They were asked to vacate their hotel rooms yesterday and return to their homes by Malaysia Airlines officials promising continued contact and timely information.


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