One day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up talks with Chinese officials in Beijing, a new report said China is planning to base troops in Cuba.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Cuba and China are in talks over the establishment of a military training facility that would be about 100 miles from Florida’s coast.
The report, based on what it said were “current and former U.S. officials” who were not named, said U.S. intelligence documents indicate the deal is in its final stages.
The Journal said the Biden administration is trying to persuade Cuba to back away from the project.
The White House declined to comment on the report, it said.
The sources were quoted as saying the fears of the project included China having a permanent base for troops in Cuba and an even more far-reaching campaign of intelligence gathering aimed at the United States.
The facility is part of China’s “Project 141” to expand military and logistical facilities around the world, the report said. The Journal said the plan was cited in what it summed up as “convincing but fragmentary” intelligence reports.
The new facility would add to China’s presence in Cuba, which consists of four jointly run eavesdropping stations, the report said, citing U.S. officials it did not name.
Prior to 2019, the Journal reported, there had been one Chinese spy site on the island. Chinese involvement in the sites increased that year when the number of eavesdropping locations increased, the report said.
On Monday, a State Department news release said that during Blinken’s meetings with Chinese officials Sunday and Monday, “The two sides discussed a range of global and regional security issues, including Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the DPRK’s provocative actions, and U.S. concerns with PRC intelligence activities in Cuba,” using acronyms for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the People’s Republic of China.
“The Secretary made clear that the United States will work with its allies and partners to advance our vision for a world that is free, open, and upholds the rules-based international order,” it said.
No consequences for the spy balloon. No consequences for spy station in Cuba. No consequences for stealing our jobs. China calls the shots in the Biden Admin https://t.co/jm0zDBheZk
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 19, 2023
Earlier this month, the Biden administration said China has been spying on the U.S. from Cuba since 2019.
The Journal reported June 8 that a new agreement had been reached to establish a spy base, leading to a Biden administration official’s confession that the truth was worse.
“This is an ongoing issue and not a new development,” an official told the outlet June 10.
The official told the Journal at that time that China’s “intelligence collection facilities” in Cuba were upgraded in 2019.
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