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VOA Asia Weekly: US Lawmakers Want to Speed Military Transfers to Taiwan

VOA Asia Weekly: US Lawmakers Want to Speed Military Transfers to Taiwan
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US President Biden renews call at UN to support Ukraine. Japanese PM Kishida repeats offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. US lawmakers urge White House to speed up military transfers to Taiwan. Japanese wrestlers duke it out on bullet train.

U.S. lawmakers express concern about the speed of military sales to Taiwan.

Welcome to VOA Asia Weekly. I'm Chris Casquejo in Washington. That story is just ahead, but first, making headlines:

U.S. President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, renewing his call for international support for Ukraine.

“If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?”

Biden met with Central Asian leaders on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UNGA. He told the leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan that the world is safer when the nations "stand together."

In a speech to the General Assembly Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reiterated his offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, seeking a diplomatic path as tensions soar over Pyongyang's weapons programs.

North Korea's state-run television on Wednesday aired a documentary about leader Kim Jong Un's recent trip to Russia and his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. State media described Kim’s trip as a significant step in strengthening relations between the two countries.

Huawei might be about to launch a mid-range 5G phone as soon as October, China's IT Times reported on Tuesday. The state-affiliated outlet report said Huawei may bring out a 5G version of its mid-range Nova phone in October or November. The release would be another sign the Chinese tech giant is overcoming U.S. sanctions. Washington has restricted Huawei's access to chipmaking tools since 2019.

Thai farmers are cashing in on a global spike in rice prices after the world’s biggest rice exporter, India, curbed its exports amid a poor harvest.

U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday urged the White House to step up delivery of nearly $19 billion in military sales to Taiwan, citing fears that China will invade the island. VOA’s Congressional Correspondent Katherine Gypson has more from Capitol Hill.

The Indonesian military beginning five days of naval exercises with other ASEAN nations in the South China Sea China continues its regional aggression.

“There's territory in Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India — I think someone told me even Russia — that China claims that should be part of theirs. If they can bully their way into Taiwan, it is not the last place that they're going to try to bully their way into.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning responded to the exercises.

“We have a clear and consistent position on the South China Sea.”

U.S. lawmakers expressed concern that the U.S. has not yet delivered on nearly $19

billion in military sales commitments to Taiwan.

Chairman of the House Select Committee on China Mike Gallagher told VOA that even though Congress is being hampered by logistical challenges, the defense industry must move faster to transfer military sales to Taiwan.

“We haven't provided the multi-year appropriation necessary to replenish our stockpiles. Our defense industrial base has become very concentrated. So we're very brittle, and we need to rebuild that. That's one of the lessons of the war in Ukraine, and we haven't learned it yet.”

Some Republican lawmakers argue the Biden administration has not been forceful enough in its Taiwan policy and that the military sales program to Taiwan is broken.

An administration official pushed back.

“Last year we authorized the highest single year number of foreign military sale notifications to Taiwan in at least 30 years. In this administration, we have authorized almost $6 billion in Taiwan arm sales.”

But U.S. officials acknowledged defense contractors need to speed up their production.

“We need to work with industry to find efficiencies in their processes, work with industry to make sure that they are opening production lines here and abroad and co-production to make sure that, that we were able to deliver on time.”

Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States is required to ensure Taiwan is able to defend itself.

U.S. defense officials reassured lawmakers that America upholds its “one China policy,” which acknowledges but does not endorse Beijing’s view that it has sovereignty over Taiwan.

Katherine Gypson, VOA News.

Visit for the most up-to-date stories.

I’m Chris Casquejo.

We leave you now in Tokyo.

Two Japanese pro wrestlers traded the ring for a railcar, marking the first wrestling match ever held inside a bullet train.

Tickets sold out within 30 minutes.

Thanks for watching VOA Asia Weekly.