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USA. Wall Street Journal: A secret Chinese intelligence base is to be built in Cuba

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China has entered into a secret deal with Cuba to establish an electronic intelligence base on an island about 160 kilometers from Florida, the Wall Street Journal reported, but the White House and the Pentagon have cast doubt on the reports.

A secret Chinese base specialized in electronic intelligence is to be established on Cubaand the Chinese government will pay Havana “many billions of dollars” for permission to place it on the island, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing US officials.

The interlocutors of the daily, knowing secret intelligence information, reported that according to reliable data collected in recent weeks, Havana and Beijing concluded an agreement to build such a spy installation. She would China collect electronic data from the southeastern US territories, where there are many military bases.

A Chinese base equipped with advanced military and intelligence technologies, located near the United States, could pose an “unprecedented threat”, and information about plans to deploy it has caused concern among the American administration, writes “WSJ”.

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Havana, the capital of CubaReuters

An intelligence installation focused on electronic intelligence would be able to intercept signals from many forms of communication, including e-mails, telephone calls and satellite transmissions, the daily explains.

Craig Singleton, an expert at the Washington think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, assessed in an interview with the daily that “the creation of such an installation (in Cuba) marks the beginning of a new phase of escalation in China’s defense strategy.” “The choice of Cuba is a deliberate provocation,” added Singleton.

Doubts of the White House and the Pentagon

– We have received this information. They are not precise, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told Reuters. However, he did not explain what he believes is not true.

Kirby, however, said that United States are “genuinely concerned” about China’s relationship with Cuba and are closely monitoring it.

In turn, spokesman for the US Department of Defense, General Patrick Ryder, said that “the US has no knowledge that China and Cuba are developing a new type of spy station.”

Cuban authorities denied the reports

Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio in a statement to the media, cited by the Spanish agency EFE, said that the “WSJ” information was “baseless” and aimed at destabilizing the situation in Cuba and justifying American sanctions. The deputy head of the Cuban Foreign Ministry assures that his government is against any foreign military presence in Latin America, including the American one at the Guantanamo military base in the east of the island.

Tensions over the shooting down of a spy balloon

The “WSJ” points out that the US has already intervened when enemy states tried to interfere in its sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere, most notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

The daily reminds that the administration of the president Joe Biden recently sought to maintain “open channels of communication” with China – for this purpose, CIA Director William Burns traveled to Beijing in May to meet his counterparts there.

It was the visit of Washington’s top emissary to Beijing since a Chinese spy balloon allegedly collecting intelligence from US military bases was shot down in the US in February.

The American administration is trying to ease the tensions in relations with China caused by the balloon incident and avoid a situation where the lack of information exchange with Beijing could lead to a conflict.

The balloon incident intensified already high tensions between the world’s two largest economies. Because of him, the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken postponed a previously planned visit to China to an indefinite date. The U.S. administration, however, has sought to organize it, and the secretary of state is expected to travel to Beijing later this month, the “WSJ” reports.

Main photo source: Reuters

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