Top Military Officer Of U.S Held Secret Parleys With Chinese Counterpart, Assured That He Will Alert PLA In Event Of An Attack: Book

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General Mark Milley, currently the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, twice promised General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that he would warn China in the event of a US attack, a new book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa'

United States’ top military officer pledged he would alert his Chinese counterpart in the event of an U.S attack, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday(Sep 14), based on excerpts from journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's new book Peril.

General Mark Milley, currently the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council, twice promised General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that he would warn China in the event of a US attack.

According to the book, one call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the U.S presidential election and the other on Jan. 8, 2021, just two days after the so-called insurrection at the US Capitol by supporters of the outgoing chief executive.

“General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.” Miller informed his Chinese counterpart during one of their call, book excerpts reveal.

“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be OK,” Milley told Chinese general. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley reportedly said.

The second call was meant to placate Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6. But the book reports that Li wasn't as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him: “We are 100 percent steady. Everything's fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

Milley believed that President Donald Trump suffered a mental decline after the election, a view he relayed in a January 8 phone call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Excerpts from the book published by The Washington Post reveal that authors relied on General Milley’s own account as one of their main source for the book.

"In the second call, placed to address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6, Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.” Li remained rattled, and Milley, who did not relay the conversation to Trump, . . . understood why. The chairman . . . believed the president had suffered a mental decline after the election . . . a view he communicated to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi . . . on Jan. 8. He agreed with her evaluation that Trump was unstable. . . . Believing that China could lash out if it felt at risk from an unpredictable and vengeful American president, Milley took action.

Milley, an appointee of Trump administration in 2018, incurred the president's wrath when he expressed regret for participating in a June 2020 photo op with Trump after federal law enforcement cleared a park near the White House of peaceful protesters so Trump could stand at a nearby damaged church.

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