Biden defends US general ‘assured not to attack China at the end of Trump’s term’

Mr. Biden defends the US general 'assured not to attack China at the end of the Trump term' - Photo 1.

As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley is the highest ranking officer in the US armed forces – Photo: AFP

The information is revealed in “Peril”, a book about to be published in the US. Newspaper Washington Post published several passages that led to the criticisms and reactions of the stakeholders.

According to this book, General Milley – chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff – secretly called his Chinese counterpart, Li Zuocheng, in October 2020 and January 2021.

During the call, Mr. Milley reassured General Lee that the US was stable and that the Donald Trump administration would not attack China. If something like that was about to happen, General Ly would have been warned in advance.

The book also said that General Milley called senior officers to review nuclear weapons launch procedures and asked to participate if the president ordered the launch.

This information aroused criticism of General Milley over his power, breaking the principle of civilian control of the army. Many people asked President Biden to pressure Mr. Milley to resign.

However, the White House boss defended General Milley. “I have complete confidence in General Milley,” Biden replied briefly when asked during a meeting about a COVID-19 vaccine on September 15.

At a press conference the following day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki affirmed: “President Biden has complete confidence in General Milley’s leadership, patriotism and loyalty to the US Constitution.” .

According to Ms. Psaki, Mr. Milley’s actions should be placed in the context of the United States and the world at that time, as well as the suspicions of Trump administration officials about the president’s mentality during his final days in the White House.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the same day also expressed confidence and support for Mr. Milley in his role as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In a statement on September 14, former President Trump called the content in the Peril book “fabricated” and asserted ““Never thought of attacking China.” However, according to Mr. Trump, if General Milley’s call to the Chinese general is true, he should be tried for treason.

Colonel Dave Butler, a spokesman for General Milley, dismissed the so-called “secret call”. According to him Butler, the calls last October and this past January were both reported, and there was interagency coordination and communication so they could not be said to be confidential.

Butler also said that this action was necessary given the responsibility General Milley was authorized to “maintain strategic stability”.

General Milley will attend a hearing in the US Congress later this month. It is highly likely that Mr. Milley’s two calls with the Chinese general and other behind-the-scenes information will be focused on by MPs.

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