The People’s Republic of China is allegedly in talks with the Republic of Cuba, a fellow Communist nation, to establish a presence in the region so that it can spy on the United States.
Politico reports that the claims were made by two anonymous U.S. officials. They said that establishing such a base just 100 miles from American shores would allow China to collect signals intelligence on the southeastern United States, where many military bases and other crucial infrastructure is located.
The news comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit China in the coming weeks; the trip was originally planned for February but was postponed in the aftermath of the Chinese spy balloon fiasco. These new developments could further complicate attempts by the Biden Administration to “thaw” relations with China, which have been increasing dramatically in the aftermath of the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic, as well as ongoing Chinese military threats against the island nation of Taiwan.
The discussions were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which further claimed that a “secret agreement” has already been reached by the two nations, with China paying Cuba billions of dollars to build the facility. The two anonymous officials could not confirm whether or not a deal had formally been struck.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby released a statement claiming that the reports were “not accurate,” adding that “we remain confident that we are able to meet all our security commitments at home and in the region.”
Meanwhile, Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the two ranking members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released a joint statement on Thursday saying that they were “deeply disturbed” by these reports.
It would be unacceptable for China to establish an intelligence facility within 100 miles of Florida and the United States,” the senators’ statement read. “We urge the Biden administration to take steps to prevent this serious threat to our national security and sovereignty.”