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None of the Chinese passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 played any role in the plane's disappearance last week, China's ambassador to Malaysia said Tuesday.

Ambassador Huang Huikang said at a news conference in Beijing that the investigation involved "criminal matters."

Without pointing fingers at anyone specifically, Malaysian authorities have begun to focus on the theory that the plane was deliberately diverted March 8.

Huang gave no further details Tuesday, but he said China had "conducted a meticulous investigation into all the [Chinese] passengers" and had been able to "rule out the suspicion of any Chinese passengers engaging in terrorist or sabotage activities" on board the flight, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

About two-thirds of the passengers were Chinese, and Beijing has put pressure on the Malaysian government to provide more detailed information about the search for the missing plane.

— M. Alex Johnson and Bo Gu