Washington [US], June 11 (ANI): A Chinese spy base in Cuba that could intercept electronic signals from nearby US military and commercial buildings has been operating since or before 2019 when the Chinese base was upgraded, The News York Times reported citing a Biden administration official.
The official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence said that the spy base was an issue that the Biden administration had inherited from former US President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported. After Biden assumed office as US President, his administration was given details regarding the base and plans which China was considering to set up similar facilities around the world, according to official.
The official said that the Biden administration has been making efforts to counter China’s efforts to gain a foothold in the region and elsewhere and adding that they are doing it mainly by engaging diplomatically with nations that Beijing was pursuing as potential hosts for such bases. According to the official, the administration had slowed China’s plans. However, they did not provide details regarding the matter.
In a joint statement on Thursday, US Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the panel’s top Republican, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said they were “deeply disturbed” by reports that Cuba and China are working together to target the US and its people, according to The New York Times.
Earlier this week, the US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby refuted the reports calling them “not accurate.” He said that they have had “real concerns” regarding China’s ties with Cuba and “we have been concerned since Day 1 of the administration about China’s activities in our hemisphere and around the world,” as per The New York Times report.
Some of the Biden administration’s critics have raised questions over the motives of the administration’s response. US Representative Mike Gallagher said, “Why did the Biden administration previously deny these reports of a CCP. spy base in Cuba? Why did they downplay the ‘silly’ CCP spy balloon?”
Meanwhile, Pentagon dismissed reports of a secret pact between China and Cuba that would enable Beijing to construct an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island, located 160 kilometers from the United States and called it “not accurate.”, Voice of America (VOA) reported.
“I can tell you, based on the information that we have, that that is not accurate – that we are not aware of China and Cuba developing any type of spy station,” Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday.
According to the reports, which first appeared in The Wall Street Journal citing unnamed intelligence officials, China had agreed to pay financially hard-pressed Cuba several billion dollars for the spy facility, which would allow China to collect electronic communications from throughout the southeastern United States, where numerous military bases are located, VOA News reported.
Ryder added that the Pentagon was not aware of China setting up any type of military base in Cuba or elsewhere in the region. However, he cautioned that the relationship between Cuba and China is something that the Pentagon monitors, along with any type of “coercive activity or belligerent activity” by China in the Western Hemisphere. (ANI)
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