President Xi Jinping Monday has led an outpouring of condolence messages from China to Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta over Sunday's deadly Ethiopian Airlines flight crash.
The Boeing 737 Max-8 went down six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa airport, killing all 157 people on board, including eight Chinese nationals.
In his message, Xi said he was shocked to learn of the crash that has caused heavy casualties among nationals of several countries including Ethiopia, Kenya as well as China, and pledged to provide support and help to the Ethiopian government.
Xi said he and the Chinese government and people deeply mourned the deceased and were sending sincere condolences to their families.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also offered condolences to his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed.
At a news conference on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang expressed sympathy to the families of the Chinese victims, saying they will be provided with all necessary support.
"Local leaders are highly concerned about this aviation disaster involving Chinese citizens," Lu said. "The foreign ministry and the Chinese embassy in Ethiopia have begun providing services accordingly. The embassy has made contact with the families and is assisting them in any way they can."
Lu also confirmed the identities of the Chinese victims, four of whom worked for Chinese companies, two were UN staff members, and two were tourists from Zhejiang and Liaoning provinces.