Chinese police will increase armed patrols, especially in densely populated areas like urban centers and transport hubs, in a drive to crack down on violent crime, state news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday. China's stability obsessed ruling Communist Party, always jittery about any threats to its rule, has been alarmed by a series of incidents in recent months, including a knife attack at a train station in the city of Kunming blamed on militants from the far western region of Xinjiang this month. "The ministry (of public security) said that it will carry out armed patrols and take timely measures to handle violent criminals," Xinhua said. "The ministry urged public security organs at all levels to increase work efficiency and further improve the emergency command mechanism in order to fight crime," it added.
The government also appealed for international help in the search for the Malaysia Airlines plane across two corridors stretching from the Caspian Sea to the southern Indian Ocean, diplomats said. The disappearance of Flight MH370 has baffled investigators, aviation experts and internet sleuths since the plane vanished from civilian air traffic control screens off Malaysia's east coast less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. At a news conference on Saturday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said investigators believed somebody steered the plane west, far from its scheduled route. The satellite data revealed by Najib suggests the plane could be anywhere in either of two arcs: one stretching from northern Thailand to the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, or a southern arc heading from Indonesia to the vast southern Indian Ocean.