In a new book set to be released next week, authors reveal that a leading military official under the Trump administration was having a secret phone affair with a top Chinese general.
As the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, General Mark A. Milley conducted two secret phone calls with China’s General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army. It has been reported that Milley reassured Zuocheng that the United States would not attack China, and he would notify him if that ever changed.
The first phone call occurred on October 30, four days before the 2020 election. Milley discovered that China assumed that the U.S. was preparing to attack China when in reality, the United States was simply conducting training exercises in the South China Sea.
According to the book, Milley told Li, “General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay. We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”
He leaned on the solidarity of their relationship and promised Li that there was no threat. He would take it upon himself to forewarn Li if the circumstances ever changed.
“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.”
The second call took place on January 8, as the January 6 events reportedly rattled li. Milley again reassured him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”
Milley ensured no further misinterpretations would occur as he notified the admiral overseeing the military unit responsible for Asia and the Pacific region. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command postponed their military exercises as a result.
“Peril” is co-authored by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.