No, the United States has no intention of starting a war against China. The case may seem a little unstable, but we’re doing really well. And yes, democracy can sometimes seem a little sloppy.
In short, that was the reassuring message that the chairman of the American chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, conveyed to his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng, in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s presidency.
It is yet another sensitive revelation that American journalist Bob Woodward is making about things happening behind the scenes in Washington. This time in his new book ”Peril”, which he co-wrote with fellow reporter Robert Costa.
At first glance, the suggestion is almost laughable. No sensible American president would worry about starting a war against the People’s Republic unless there is a very urgent reason for doing so. Despite the high level of trade dispute between Washington and Beijing and the muscular language that has been spoken over and over in recent years, there was no immediate threat.
However, the US intelligence services received signals that there was indeed a fear in Beijing that president Trump was planning some form of offensive action against China.
It must be borne in mind that the aftermath of Trump’s presidency was rather turbulent, to say the least. With as low points the month-long bickering over the election results, the uncertainty about a decent transfer of power and of course the Storming of the Capitol.
It is therefore not surprising that the necessary eyebrows were frowned upon in Beijing. For the sake of strategic reassurance, Milley’s phone call wasn’t so bad.
But that was not the end of the story in America. Because the unveiling of Woodward and Costa caused the necessary heated feelings in politics. In particular, several prominent Republicans fell hard over Milley’s telephone conversations with Beijing.
Soon terms such as high treason and attempted coup. The general is said to have seriously violated the principle that the military is under civil political responsibility.
Even president Joe Biden had to be involved to ensure that he has every confidence in Milley and that the officer has not overstepped his constitutional record.
It seems that this issue is once again being fought along party political lines. But critical Republican politicians should realize in the first place that the chaos in Trump’s aftermath took place under the rule of “their” Republican president.