March 18, 2014 - 09:47 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - China has started searching its territory within the northern corridor for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, according to BBC News.
The international search for the plane has extended into two vast air corridors, north and south of the plane's last known location.
China said no evidence of terror links had been found in Chinese passengers.
The plane went missing on March 8, with 239 people on board. Some 26 countries are involved in search efforts.
Malaysia says the plane was intentionally diverted and could have flown on either a northern or southern arc from its last known position in the Malacca Straits.
Search efforts are focused on two corridors - one stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and another from Indonesia to the Indian Ocean.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that the aircraft's crew - or other individuals on the plane - were involved in its disappearance.
A total of 153 Chinese nationals were on board the missing aircraft.
Based on background checks, there was no evidence to suggest that the mainland Chinese passengers on the plane were involved in hijacking or launching a terror attack, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.
Meanwhile, the U.S. navy ship USS Kidd had been taken off the search because the enlarged search area meant that "long-range patrol aircraft" were "more suited" to the mission, U.S. officials said in a statement.
The move was made "in consultation with the Malaysian government", officials said. USS Kidd had searched the Andaman Sea but found "no debris or wreckage associated with an aircraft", they added.
The U.S. says it is using patrol aircraft including the P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion to continue search efforts, with the P-8 taking part in search efforts in the south corridor.
U.S. officials say Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday, and said the U.S. was "fully committed" to the search and had "re-tasked reconnaissance aircraft to search the 'southern corridor' in the Indian Ocean".