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US General told China, 'I will tell you in advance, if we’re going to attack you...'

President Biden has expressed “complete confidence” in Gen Mark Milley even as former Prez Trump and Republicans accuse the General of treason for calling the Chinese General Li behind his back and telling him “If we’re going to attack" he will inform him beforehand, and asked the General to step down for overstepping his authority by sidelining the civilian command (of Trump) during the tumultuous last days of the former Prez in office. The shameful Trump chapter in American history is not going to close so soon!

WASHINGTON, Sept 16: President Joe Biden has expressed confidence in Gen Mark Milley who is facing calls for resignation for allegedly overstepping his authority during Donald Trump's presidency by calling his Chinese counterpart Li Zuocheng to assure the latter there was no threat of an attack from the US even as there was widespread apprehension that Trump, losing in the presidential race, would go erratic by ordering a nuclear strike against China.

“I have great confidence in Gen. Milley,” Biden said when asked by a reporter whether Milley had done the right thing.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley's office has clarified that he regularly contacts foreign military leaders as is the practice. One other version from the office said Gren Milley apprehended Trump might spark a war with China and that he sought to clear the Chinese suspicion following the political turmoil in the US post-election.

Gen Milley's China call came to light in an investigative report in the Washington Post by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa on Tuesday, which is also being published as a book titled 'Peril'.

“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him in the first call, according to the book. “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 January 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,” AP quoted.

First call took place on October 30, 2020, four days before the election Trump lost, and the other on January 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol siege and rampage by thugs instigated by Trump when the results were being certified.

According to the Washington Post report, which has not been denied by the General's office, rather only endorsed by its explanation, Gen Milley is on record talking to the Chinese General twice, late in 2020 and in January 2021 when the presidential results were out.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that Biden has “complete confidence” in Gen Milley. Psaki said Biden thinks Milley is a “man of honour”.

According to the report, Gen Milley assured Li Zuocheng, the top Chinese General, that the US would not attack China and that he would inform him of an attack if it were to happen. “If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” the book quotes Gen Milley as telling Gen Li.

Following the revelation, Republicans asked Gen Milley resign, accusing him of treason. They said he violated the elected civilian leadership’s control over the military. Gen Milley was appointed by Trump in 2018.

Gen Milley’s office released its own statement also denying any wrongdoing, stating that he regularly contacts foreign counterparts. “His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” Dave Butler, a spokesperson for Milley, said.

“All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency,” he added.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby also said that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has “full trust and confidence” in Gen Milley.

Trump, meanwhile, dismissed the notion that he ever planned an attack on China.

Milley had thought Trump had a mental issue and his suspicion grew when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called him on January 8 to share the general apprehension in the Capitol. In the political turmoil that followed the election, China had good enough reason to believe Trump would resort to some adventure like an attack on his enemy, China. Therefore, Gen Milley sought to reassure the Chinese!

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