Saturday, October 23, 2021

Milley says calls to Chinese general were ‘completely’ within his job duties

Faced with calls to resign or an investigation, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley on Friday defended two phone calls allegedly made in secret to his Chinese Communist Party counterpart.

The general contacted General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army several days before the November 2020 election and two days after the Capitol breach on January 6 to reassure the Chinese military that an attack was not forthcoming, according to excerpts from a Book published this week.

As the Associated Press reports, Milley, the top US general, described the two phone calls as “routine” and claimed they were made “to ensure strategic stability in order to reassure both allies and adversaries in the matter”. Speaking to the news agency, he offered only a brief remark about his two calls with Lee and said he would talk about his calls before Congress later this month when he and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin is about to testify.

“I think it’s best I keep my comments safe on record until I do so in front of lawmakers who have a legal responsibility to oversee the US military,” Milley told the AP. “I’ll go into any level of detail that Congress wants to go into in a couple of weeks.”

But he said the calls were “fully within the duties and responsibilities” of his role.

According to the book, written by journalist Bob Woodward and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, Milley reportedly told Lee that “If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s no surprise.” Won’t matter.” The call raised questions about whether he was undermining the authority of then-President Donald Trump.

Yug Times Photos
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Li Zuocheng (L) and Army Chief General Mark Milley (C) review an honor guard during a reception at the Bei Building on August 16, 2016 in Beijing. (Mark Schiffelbein/AFP via Getty Images)

Milley made those calls, Book alleged, because he feared Trump would take military action during his presidency. Trump did not, and former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller told Fox News that Milley’s alleged calls were not authorized by him, before saying the general should resign from his position.

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Trump said the general should be charged with treason against the US if the reports about Milley’s calls are true. The former president also sharply criticized his chaotic and hasty military withdrawal from Afghanistan, which left billions of dollars in military equipment and hardware captured by the Taliban.

During a news conference earlier in the week, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby repeatedly declined to answer specific questions about phone calls between Lee and Miley, adding that such conversations between foreign counterparts were routinely held. marked with. White House press secretary Jen Psaki also said that President Joe Biden has “complete confidence” in Milley’s leadership, suggesting that the administration will not seek to remove him in the near future.

A spokesman for Milley’s office, Colonel Dave Butler, also regularly defended the call, saying that Milley frequently communicated with generals in Russia and China.

“These conversations are important to improve mutual understanding of US national security interests, reduce tensions, provide clarity, and avoid unintended consequences or conflict,” Butler said in a statement earlier this week.

Republicans in Congress have called for an inquiry into Milley’s calls, with some calling for his resignation. Some members of the media have also demanded his removal.

The Epoch Times has contacted the Defense Department for comment.

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

senior reporter

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Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times in New York City.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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