China asks Australia to step up missing ship crew search

STORY: President Xi Jinping has ordered that all efforts be made to search for the missing crew, which includes 17 Chinese nationals, 17 Indonesians and five from the Philippines, state media reported on Wednesday.

"This is within Australia's search and rescue area ... we wish our Australian colleagues will co-ordinate with other international or foreign vessels or ships near the area to help to search and rescue to save as many lives as possible," Ambassador Xiao Qian said at a press conference.

Xiao thanked Australian authorities for sending three airplanes and four ships to the area, located about 3,100 miles off the country's west coast.

The capsized fishing boat had been found but no survivors located so far, he said.

China is co-ordinating with several countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Maldives with the rescue mission.

The distant-water fishing vessel "Lupeng Yuanyu 028", owned by Penglai Jinglu Fishery Co Ltd based in Shandong province, capsized early on Tuesday, state-run CCTV reported. It was not immediately known why it sank.