US Working to Disrupt Beijing’s Expansion in Cuba
WASHINGTON—The United States is actively working to disrupt Beijing’s ongoing efforts to expand its presence in Cuba, according to the State Department. In a press briefing, the department’s principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel stated, “Broadly, we are monitoring and responding to any PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to expand its military or security presence around the world, and we watch how potential PRC actions may impact the United States.”
Patel emphasized that the Chinese communist regime will continue to try to enhance its presence in Cuba, but the US is committed to disrupting these efforts. He added, “Our experts assess that our diplomatic efforts have slowed the PRC down, and there, of course, continue to still be challenges, but we continue to be concerned about the PRC’s longstanding activities with Cuba.”
Chinese Communist Party’s Surveillance Capacity
Recent reports suggest that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is actively working to bolster its surveillance capacity in Cuba. This is particularly concerning as Cuba is located just 100 miles off the coast of Florida and houses several US military installations. U.S. intelligence from the Trump administration revealed that employees from blacklisted Chinese telecom companies, Huawei and ZTE, were seen entering and leaving facilities suspected of hosting CCP’s spying operations in Cuba, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Furthermore, it has been reported that Beijing and Havana are negotiating a deal to establish a new joint military training station in Cuba. This revelation comes shortly after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with senior Chinese officials, including CCP leader Xi Jinping.
Representative Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) expressed his lack of surprise regarding the reported CCP activities in Cuba. He stated, “Cuba is an adversary, they will do anything they can to undermine U.S. interests, and so as China. So they’re going to be allies and they are allied in their quest to undermine the United States.”
US Concerns and Actions
During his meetings with CCP leaders in Beijing, Secretary Blinken made it clear that Washington has deep concerns about PRC intelligence or military activities in Cuba. He also mentioned that the US has engaged with several countries where the CCP has shown interest in expanding its intelligence or military efforts and has had some success in slowing down these efforts.
Secretary Blinken emphasized that the US will closely monitor the situation and protect its homeland and interests. The White House initially dismissed reports of a Chinese surveillance base in Cuba but later confirmed its existence.
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