The Xi'an Satellite Control Centre in northwestern China reprogrammed the high-resolution satellites for full-time monitoring of weather, communications and search operations in the area where the Malaysia Airlines B-777 passenger jet disappeared, the ministry said.
Pilots of two planes from Hong Kong spotted unidentified debris off the coast of Vietnam on Monday, reports said. But it was not clear if the debris was linked to the missing plane, which had been en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.
Vietnam sees "little hope"
Vietnam expanded its search and rescue operations over an additional 26,000 square kilometres to help find the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing at the weekend, authorities said.
"We will expand the search on land also," said Lt Gen Vo Van Tuan.
"The total area we have searched, including today will be 150,000 square kilometres," said the deputy chairman of the National Search and Rescue Committee, Pham Quy Tieu.
"Based on our assessment so far, there is little hope for a good outcome for the missing Malaysian plan," Tieu told reporters.