China reaches deal to build 'spy base' in Cuba

By 
 June 9, 2023

Cuba has reportedly reached a deal with China to build a spy installation in America's backyard.

The news of the agreement was first reported in the Wall Street Journal, which said China had agreed to invest billions in foreign aid in exchange for permission to build the secret base.

Havana dismissed the story as "totally false and unfounded," while Beijing accused the U.S. of "spreading rumours and slander."

Chinese spy base?

The Biden administration said the report "is not accurate" but they didn't exactly deny it either.

"We have had real concerns about the China’s relationship with Cuba, and we have been concerned since day one of the Administration about China’s activities in our hemisphere and around the world," Biden national security official John Kirby said.

The threat of Chinese surveillance was on full display in February when a spy balloon brazenly traversed the United States. The U.S. military shot down the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean but not before it managed to collect intelligence from military bases.

Cuba's proximity to the U.S. has long given the island country a strategic importance for America's enemies, including the former Soviet Union, that it appears China wants to now leverage.

China's efforts to expand its global footprint have caused alarm and brought tensions between West and East to a boil, especially in the South China Sea, where Chinese and American ships often come into close contact.

China emboldened

For China to now plant its flag 100 miles from U.S. soil has caused concern in Washington with members of both parties.

“It would be unacceptable for China to establish an intelligence facility within 100 miles of Florida and the United States," Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), who run the Senate Intelligence Committee, said.

“We urge the Biden administration to take steps to prevent this serious threat to our national security and sovereignty."

The report comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit China soon for a trip that was delayed after the Chinese spy balloon incident months ago. China hawks like Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) say Biden's ongoing diplomatic efforts to achieve a "thaw" with China are misguided.

“It is a disaster for the Biden administration. It shows that what they’re trying, their policies are not working at all, the aggression of China continues,” Hawley said. “Here they’re flying over to China, maybe as we speak, to grovel to Beijing. Meanwhile, Beijing is basically giving us the middle finger."

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