Rescue workers are cutting into the hull of the cruise ship Eastern Star that capsized late on Monday in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province, June 3, 2015. Photo: Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu))
Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior Communist Party of China (CPC) leaders have called on rescuers to "take all possible measures" to save lives from the cruiser ship that capsized on the Yangtze River Monday night.[Special coverage]
They have also demanded serious investigation into the cause of the tragedy, in which 65 people have been confirmed dead and more than 370 are still missing. Only 14 survivors have been found.
The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee met on Thursday morning to discuss the rescue and how to handle the tragedy's aftermath.
Xi gave a speech and presided over the meeting, with CPC leaders also listening to a report from a State Council work team on the matter.
A statement issued after the meeting stressed how arduous the rescue had been and that authorities should mobilize all possible forces and take all possible measures to race against the clock in the hope of pulling survivors from the vessel.
The document said the search for missing passengers and treatment of the injured should be continued though saving lives is the top priority.
Local government authorities and military units were ordered to make sure divers' underwater searches were coordinated, so that every room of the ship is checked.
Rescue work should be carried out in a scientific manner with due attention paid to the safety of the rescue ships and workers themselves, according to the statement.
Pledging to send more medical experts and resources, the leaders also noted the importance of caring for passengers' families and promised timely, accurate and transparent releases of information from the investigation. (Updated)