China entered into a secret agreement with Cuba to set up an electronic espionage facility on the island. about 100 miles from Florida, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing US officials familiar with classified intelligence. Such a facility would allow Beijing to collect electronic communications from the southeastern United States, which is home to several US military bases, as well as monitor ship traffic.
The headquarters of the United States Central Command is located in Tampa, Florida. Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg, is the largest US military base located in North Carolina. Officials said, the two countries have reached an agreement in principle, Cuba will have to pay “several billion dollars” with China to allow the listening stationAccording to WSJ.
“I can’t speak to this specific report, but we are very aware of the PRC’s efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that can serve military purposes, including in this hemisphere, and we’ve talked about them many times. did,” he said. John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement. “We are monitoring this closely, taking countermeasures, and we are confident that we can meet all of our security commitments at home, in the region, and around the world,” he said.
The Chinese and Cuban embassies in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The deal between the two US rivals, both ruled by communist governments, has caused alarm in the Biden administrationAccording to the WSJ, creating a new threat in the country’s “backyard” and reviving the “fear” of a missile crisis during the height of the Cold War in the 1960s.
The reported deal comes as Washington and Beijing are taking tentative steps to ease tensions. It escalated after a suspected high-altitude Chinese spy balloon crossed over the United States in February before being shot down by US forces off the East Coast.
It could also raise questions about a trip to China that US officials say Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning in the coming weeks. Months later, Washington’s top diplomat canceled his trip over the spy balloon incident.
“The threat from Cuba to the United States is not only real, but worse,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a China-Cuba hawk, said on Twitter.
The cash injection would be welcome in Communist Party-ruled Cuba.While the economy is dragging down production with inflation, fuel shortages, falling agricultural production and cash crunches, discontent continues to simmer in the island nation led by Miguel Díaz-Canel.