‘A Chinese espionage base in Cuba’: the move of Beijing that worries the US

It is a done deal between Beijing and Havana that would lead China to build an espionage base in the so-called US backyard. Thus in conjunction with the multiple incursions already made in Latin America and Central America.
chinese espionage base cuba

An electronic eavesdropping facility in Cuba, about 160 kilometres from Florida, to allow Chinese intelligence services to collect electronic communications throughout the south-east of the United States, where many US military bases are located. This, in exchange for the payment, in cash, of several billion dollars to the Cuban government.

It is a done deal between Beijing and Havana that would lead China to plant deeper and deeper roots in the so-called ‘backyard’ of the US. Thus in conjunction with the multiple incursions already made in Latin America and Central America.

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, which quoted officials close to Washington intelligence, the Asian giant has agreed to pay a huge sum of money to the cash-strapped Cubans to build a detection station on the island. Apparently, the two countries have reached an agreement in principle.

The agreement between China and Cuba

The revelation of the agreement between China and Cuba set off alarm bells within the Biden administration because of the proximity of the site where the Chinese facility is to be built to US-controlled territory.

A Beijing base, with advanced military and intelligence capabilities to boot, on the doorstep of the US could pose an unprecedented threat.

“While I can’t speak to this specific relationship, we are well aware – and have spoken many times – of the People’s Republic of China’s efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that could have military purposes. Including in this hemisphere,” said John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council. “We are monitoring closely, taking steps to counter the threat and remain confident that we are able to meet all our security commitments in the region and around the world,” he added.

Early rumours suggest that the Chinese facility will allow the Dragon to conduct intelligence signals, known in the espionage and secret services world as sigint. Which could include monitoring a range of communications, including emails, phone calls and satellite transmissions.

US concern about the Chinese espionage base

There are no more details about the location where the listening station is to be built, nor do we know whether construction has already begun. Nor is it clear what the Biden administration can do to stop the completion of the facility.

In the past, the US has intervened to prevent foreign powers from extending their influence in the Western Hemisphere, most notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. At the time, the US and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear war after the Soviets deployed nuclear-capable missiles in Cuba.

The release of the news came in the midst of Washington’s efforts to improve US-China relations after months of tensions.

In all this, should the US ask its Chinese counterpart for information, Beijing could reply that US military aircraft fly over the South China Sea, almost daily, engaging in electronic surveillance. While US ships transit through the Taiwan Strait, which China considers to be its own zone.

A hypothetical Chinese facility in Cuba would suggest that the Dragon is ready to do the same in the US backyard.

Read also: Putin’s ears in Europe: multiple spy-antennas found on Russian embassies rooftops

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