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China has deployed 21 satellites and started hunting its own territory for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, authorities said Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei did not elaborate on the areas the satellites would be monitoring.

In a separate statement, the country's ambassador to Malaysia told the state-run Xinhua news agency that China would begin searching in the northern corridor through which the aircraft could have flown.

The above graphic shows the possible last known position of the missing plane based on satellite data. Source: Mayalsian governmentReuters

Huang Huikang also said that none of the Chinese nationals aboard Flight 370 played any role in the plane's disappearance.

On Monday, Beijing demanded that Malaysia "immediately" expand the search for the missing jet.

About two-thirds of the passengers on the missing Boeing 777 were Chinese.

- Henry Austin