Cuba has allegedly given consent for China to construct a spying facility on the island, potentially allowing Chinese intelligence to monitor electronic communications across the southeastern United States. The U.S. has only become aware of this development in the last few weeks, and it is currently uncertain whether China has initiated the construction process. The U.S. government and Cuban authorities have denied these claims, while the Senate Intelligence Committee has expressed concerns over these reports.
- The proposed Chinese spying facility in Cuba could enable China to eavesdrop on electronic communications across the southeastern United States. This follows prior incidents of suspected Chinese espionage, such as a spy balloon over U.S. territory earlier this year.
- The U.S. has raised objections to these plans, although it is unclear what measures they can take to halt the construction of the spying facility. U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed concerns about China’s global infrastructure investments potentially serving military purposes.
- Cuban authorities, including Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, have vehemently denied the allegations. They argue that such accusations are being used to justify U.S. sanctions against Cuba.
- Both U.S. and Chinese intelligence operations have been noted globally, with each country accusing the other of risky maneuvers. The purported Chinese outpost in Cuba arises amidst an already tense U.S.-China relationship, highlighted by incidents in the South China Sea and disagreements over military operations.
- U.S.-Cuba relations remain strained due to issues such as the ‘Havana Syndrome’ that affected U.S. diplomats in Cuba and the Trump administration’s decision to relist Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. Efforts to improve relations under the Biden administration have been minimal.