(MANEND NEWS): China has established a spy base in Cuba since at least 2019, according to a report Saturday that cited the White House amid allegations that Beijing is expanding efforts to gather intelligence about the US.
The Wall Street Journal reported the White House emphasized that the Biden administration has implemented measures to counter China’s security presence expansion on a global scale.
The newspaper initially reported Thursday that authorities in Cuba have agreed to allow China to establish a secretive spy base that Beijing plans to use to surveil the US.
The Pentagon denied claims that China reached such an agreement with Cuba to establish a base in the island nation.
China’s plan to establish an electronic intelligence facility in Cuba, as reported in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing “US officials familiar with classified intelligence,” was “not accurate,” Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder told reporters.
But the statement Saturday by the White House said the Biden administration was briefed on China’s endeavors to enhance its military and intelligence presence, which includes the one in Cuba.
The White House reportedly said China “will keep trying to enhance its presence in Cuba, and we will keep working to disrupt it,” as reported by the Journal.
“We think the (People’s Republic of China) PRC isn’t quite where they had hoped to be,” it said.
The listening station would allow China to carry out electronic eavesdropping on the US just 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the state of Florida.
The base would let China gather communications throughout the southeastern US where several sensitive military bases are located, and monitor shipping traffic.
The Journal’s report comes amid increasingly strained ties between Washington and Beijing with US officials sounding the alarm that China poses the pre-eminent threat to Washington’s standing worldwide.
Officials from both countries have been working to mend relations after the discovery and subsequent downing of what the Biden administration said was a clandestine Chinese spy balloon above the continental US.