Philippines Protests Chinese Water Cannon Attack
The Philippines is demanding an explanation from Beijing, after the Chinese coast guard allegedly fired a water cannon at Filipinos fishing in a disputed area of the South China Sea.
Manila on Tuesday summoned China's top envoy in the Philippines' capital to protest the incident, which happened last month near the uninhabited Scarborough Shoal. The rocky outcrop has become a flashpoint in military tensions between both countries.
Foreign ministry spokesman Raul Hernandez said Manila "strongly protests the acts of harassment" in the January 27 incident and called on China to respect the rights of Philippine fishermen in the area.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he does not want to overreact to what may be a "one-off incident," but would like to know whether the case reflects a new Chinese policy.
In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing "does not accept protestations from the Philippine side." She insisted the purpose of the sea patrols are to "uphold China's sovereignty."
EU Foreign Policy Chief Vows Support for Ukraine
The European Union's foreign policy chief is promising strong international support for Ukraine as it works to form a new government following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Catherine Ashton spoke at a news conference Tuesday while visiting the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. She said Western financial institutions are working on ways to help Ukraine's economy recover from three months of political protests. Ashton also urged Russia to let the nation find its own way forward out of its political crisis.
Earlier in the day, Ukraine's parliament postponed until Thursday plans to elect a new national unity government. Parliament speaker and acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, made the announcement on Tuesday, when the legislature was due to unveil its new leaders.
Reports say the delay is meant to allow for further consultations on the issue.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is due in Ukraine Tuesday. He is expected to meet with acting president Turchynov, as well members of parliament.
The State Department said Burns "will urge the new government to take all steps necessary for free and fair presidential elections in May."
On Monday, the interim government in Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for ousted president Yanukovych, accusing him and other officials of mass murder of anti-government protesters.