An anonymous White House official has claimed that the People’s Republic of China has been operating a spy base out of the Republic of Cuba since at least 2019, adding to pre-existing concerns about relations between the two Communist nations.
According to ABC News, the anonymous official said that American intelligence agencies have already been aware of efforts by China to increase its spying capabilities by utilizing the Caribbean nation, located just 100 miles from American shores.
Previous reports suggested that China was already in negotiations with Cuba to build a new spy base, though that process had allegedly not advanced past the talking phase. These new reports appear to confirm that at least one such base has already existed in the country for the last four years.
Just as with the prior reports, the Biden Administration has formally denied any such claims about Chinese-Cuban cooperation, with Pentagon spokesman John Kirby calling the latest claims “not accurate.”
“What I can tell you is that we have been concerned since day one of this administration about China’s influence activities around the world,” Kirby said in a statement. “Certainly in this hemisphere and in this region, we’re watching this very, very closely.”
Carlos Fernández de Cossío, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Cuba, also publicly denied the reports as “slanderous speculation…evidently promoted by certain media to cause harm and alarm without observing minimum patterns of communication and without providing data or evidence to support what they disseminate.”
If such reports did turn out to be true, it would add to already-growing tensions between the United States and China, which have been escalating in recent years. In addition to a contentious trade relationship that has seen many American jobs outsourced to China for the last several decades, recent military and intelligence operations have put a further strain on relations, including the recent Chinese spy balloon fiasco, as well as ongoing Chinese military threats against the island nation of Taiwan.