US confirms China has had spy bases in Cuba since at least 2019

Washington – China has been operating a spy base in Cuba since at least 2019, according to Biden administration officials, as part of Beijing’s global effort to improve its intelligence-gathering capabilities.

The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the US intelligence community has long been aware of China’s spying out of Cuba and large-scale efforts to launch intelligence-gathering operations around the world. said he was aware of

A U.S. intelligence official familiar with the matter said the Biden administration has stepped up its efforts to thwart China’s efforts to expand its espionage activities, and believes it has made some progress through diplomatic and other unspecified actions. It is said that there is

The existence of a Chinese spy base was confirmed by The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. China and Cuba have reached an agreement in principle to build an electronic wiretapping station on the island. The newspaper reported that China plans to pay billions of dollars to cash-strapped Cuba as part of the negotiations.

The White House claimed the report was inaccurate.

White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby: “I saw the report, but it’s not accurate.” said in an interview with MSNBC on Thursday. “What I can say is that we have been concerned about China’s influence activities around the world since the beginning of the administration. I have.”

U.S. intelligence agencies have determined that China’s spying out of Cuba is an “ongoing” problem and “not a new development,” the official said.

Cuba’s undersecretary of foreign affairs, Carlos Fernandez de Cosio, also refuted the report in a Twitter post on Saturday.

“The slanderous speculation continues, demonstrating that certain media outlets are apparently not adhering to minimal communication patterns, and without providing data or evidence to back up what they disseminate, causing harm and alarm. We are promoting it,” he wrote.

President Joe Biden’s national security team told intelligence agencies shortly after he took office in January 2021 that the Chinese government was considering expanding logistics, base and collection infrastructure as part of an attempt by the People’s Liberation Army. I was briefed on many sensitive Chinese initiatives around the world. Officials said the impact would be even greater.

Chinese authorities have investigated sites spanning the Atlantic, Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and the Indo-Pacific. The effort also includes an investigation of existing collection facilities in Cuba, where China stepped up its espionage operations on the island in 2019, officials said.

Tensions between the United States and China have persisted throughout Biden’s presidency.

Relations may have reached their lowest point last year after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited democratic Taiwan. It was the first visit by a sitting Speaker of the House since Newt Gingrich in 1997, and led to China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, launching military exercises around the island.

Earlier this year, relations between the United States and China were further strained after the United States shot down a Chinese reconnaissance balloon that crossed the United States.

The Chinese government was also angered by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the United States last month to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The speaker hosted Taiwanese leaders at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Southern California.

Still, the White House is keen to resume high-level communications between the two countries.

Secretary of State Anthony Brinken is scheduled to visit China next week. canceled trip Blinken is scheduled to travel to Beijing on June 18 for meetings with senior Chinese officials, according to U.S. officials who asked not to be identified because neither the State Department nor China’s foreign ministry have yet confirmed. , the balloon was flying over the United States. trip.

CIA Director William Burns met in Beijing last month.White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Meets with China in vienna During two days of talks in May, the administration expressed its desire to improve high-level communication with the Chinese side.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently I had a brief talk with Lee Sang-bok. China’s Defense Minister attends the opening dinner of the Security Forum in Singapore.China before was denied Austin asked for a meeting by the forum.

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Associated Press diplomatic correspondent Matthew Lee contributed to the report.

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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2023/06/10/us-confirms-china-has-had-a-spy-base-in-cuba-since-at-least-2019/ US confirms China has had spy bases in Cuba since at least 2019

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