China media: Taiwan plane crash

Rescuers pull a passenger out of the TransAsia Airways plane which crash landed in a river, in New Taipei City, February 4, 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Fifty-eight people were on board the plane, which crashed in the Keelung River

Papers urge Taiwan to improve aviation safety after a TransAsia passenger plane crashed into a river in Taipei on Wednesday, killing at least 31 people. Twelve more remain missing.

Beijing says it will participate in the crash inquiry because most of the passengers were Chinese nationals.

The Xinhua News Agency says top Chinese leaders expressed concern over the tragedy and "millions of mainland Chinese are praying for the victims".

An article in the Haiwai Net notes that Taiwan's aviation industry is competitive but saturated with major airlines "facing operation difficulties".

Pointing out that more mainland Chinese have been visiting Taiwan in recent years, an article in the Beijing News calls for a thorough investigation and urges Taiwanese authorities to ensure tourists feel safe.

"TransAsia and relevant authorities in Taiwan have to conduct careful investigations and provide a detailed conclusion. Mainland authorities should follow up too," says the article.

Echoing similar views, an article in the Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao daily urges Taiwan to "improve" safety standards in its aviation industry.

Another Haiwai Net article, however, dismisses fears that Taiwan has become a "dangerous place for tourists", stating that the crash should be seen as an "isolated incident".

Islamic State threat

Turning to other news, some papers urge the US to take more responsibility in the global fight against Islamic State (IS) after the militant group posted a video showing Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive.

Noting international condemnation of the killing, the Global Times says "mere verbal denunciations" are not enough.

The daily criticises Washington's Middle East policy as "completely wrong" and "selfish".

"It's a global consensus that the US must take the lion's share of the blame for the emergence of the IS," it says, pointing out that "Washington has sabotaged the structure of the Middle East" that created a "wide political vacuum" which fuelled the rapid rise of the IS.

In similar vein, the Beijing News describes the fight against the militant group as "entering into a deadlock" and says the US is losing the confidence of its allies.

The paper notes that the United Arab Emirates has stopped its air strike missions amid concern over the lack of contingency planning to save the Jordanian pilot.

The UAE is one of the four Arab states in the US-led anti-IS coalition.

Criticising the US-led fight as "defective", the Beijing Times suggests that the UN Security Council should take the lead to "totally eliminate" IS.

And finally, China's Supreme People's Court announced on Wednesday that electronic data including text messages, online chat records, blogs and electronic signatures can be served as evidence in civil lawsuits, the China Youth Daily reports.

A commentary in the Beijing Youth Daily welcomes the move but cautions against using electronic information as the main form of evidence.

"Compared with traditional forms of material evidence, the electronic records are easily tampered with or denied by the other party," it warns.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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