Milley defends calls to Chinese as effort to avoid conflict

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer is defending his phone calls to his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency as an effort to avoid misunderstandings and conflict.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered his explanation Wednesday in a written statement.

The Milley phone calls were described in excerpts from the forthcoming book “Peril” by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

The book says Milley told Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army that he would warn his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack.

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