Seen from Beijing the storming of the Capitol looked like a failed coup, a botched but serious attempt to upend US politics. Now, a book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa claims US General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army not once but twice. First on October 30, 2020, just four days before the election. The second call took place on January 8, two days after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Milley sought to assure Li that the United States was stable and not going to attack. However, he said, if there were to be an attack, he would alert his counterpart ahead of time. Schizophrenic? This places Li in an impossible position. How does he tell his boss, Xi Jinping? He would have to inform the Chinese president that a US general had just said that they won’t attack with nuclear weapons but if they do they will be notified. Can you trust him to let you know? Is it a veiled threat? At the very least you would have to put your forces on alert.