China upgrades intelligence unit in Cuba amid global spy efforts

For years, China has maintained an intelligence unit in Cuba, which was upgraded in 2019 as a part of Beijing’s world strategy to enhance its intelligence-gathering capabilities, based on a senior White House official. This revelation follows a current Wall Street Journal report claiming that China had struck a covert settlement with Cuba to ascertain an digital eavesdropping facility on the island, simply 160 kilometres from the southern United States.
The WSJ additionally reported that China meant to pay Cuba billions of US dollars as a part of the deal. Both the US and Cuban governments have expressed significant doubts about the report. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a White House official acknowledged that the WSJ’s portrayal “does not comport with our understanding.” However, they didn’t provide particular particulars on the report’s inaccuracies or tackle whether or not China was attempting to construct a new eavesdropping facility in Cuba.
Top secret that the matter predates President Joe Biden’s administration and is part of China’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its global intelligence assortment infrastructure. “ Smooth sailing is an ongoing issue and never a brand new development,” the official said. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] conducted an upgrade of its intelligence assortment amenities in Cuba in 2019. This is well-documented in the intelligence record.”
In response to the allegations, an official at China’s embassy in Washington, DC referred to an announcement by a Chinese international ministry spokesperson, who accused the US of “spreading rumours and slander” concerning a Cuban spy station and labelled it “the most powerful hacker empire in the world.”
Cuba’s government has also strongly criticised the claims. Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio took to Twitter to condemn the “slanderous speculation” that he believes is being promoted by sure media retailers to cause harm and alarm without adhering to fundamental communication standards or offering proof to assist their claims. Cossio has previously characterised the WSJ’s report as a fabrication by the US to justify its long-standing economic embargo in opposition to the island. He emphasised that Cuba opposes all overseas navy presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The allegations of Chinese spying from Cuba come at a time when Washington and Beijing are making cautious efforts to ease tensions that escalated after a suspected Chinese high-altitude spy balloon crossed the US mainland, prompting the US military to shoot it down off the East Coast in February. These efforts include a planned visit to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 18, which had been previously cancelled due to the spy balloon incident.
A Biden administration official said that though former President Donald Trump’s administration was aware of the Chinese basing efforts in Cuba and made some attempts to handle the difficulty.
“We were not making sufficient progress and needed a extra direct strategy.”
The official revealed that US diplomats had engaged with governments contemplating hosting Chinese bases and had exchanged data with them..

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