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June 28, 2017

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Australia 'very confident' in MH370 signals

PERTH, Australia--Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday he is "very confident" that signals detected in the search for Flight MH370 are from the aircraft's black box, whose batteries are waning fast more than a month after the plane vanished.

"We have very much narrowed down the search area and we are very confident the signals are from the black box," Abbott said, while warning that the transmissions were "starting to fade."

Abbott was speaking in Shanghai before meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, state news agency Xinhua said.

Two-thirds of the 239 on board the Malaysia Airlines jet were Chinese.

Xi later thanked Abbott for Australia's efforts to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, and Abbott expressed appreciation for China's involvement, Xinhua reported.

Four signals linked to aircraft beacons have been detected by the Australian vessel Ocean Shield using U.S. equipment, with the first two analyzed as being consistent with those from aircraft flight recorders.

The beacons on the plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders have a normal battery lifespan of around 30 days. The plane vanished March 8.

Growing Confidence

The Australian-led search for the Boeing 777, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, is racing to gather as many signals as possible to determine an exact resting place before a submersible is sent down to find wreckage.

"We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometers," Abbott said.

But he warned much remained to be done in "recovering wreckage from almost 4.5 kilometers beneath the sea, or finally

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