World News

China to Post Spy Facility in Cuba off Southeastern US -WSJ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China has reached a secret deal with Cuba to place an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island roughly 100 miles from Florida, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing US officials familiar with classified intelligence.

Such a facility would allow Beijing to gather electronic communications from the southeastern United States, which houses many US military bases, as well as monitor ship traffic, the newspaper reported.

The countries have reached an agreement in principle, the officials said, with China to pay Cuba “several billion dollars” to allow the eavesdropping station, according to the Journal.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment on the report. The Chinese and Cuban embassies in Washington also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The agreement has caused alarm in the Biden administration, the newspaper said, posing a new threat in the country’s back yard.

Political Cartoons on World Leaders

The reported deal comes as Washington and Beijing are taking tentative steps to soothe tensions that spiked after a suspected Chinese high-altitude spy balloon crossed the United States before the US military shot it down off the East Coast.

A cash infusion would likely be welcomed in Cuba, where the economy is sputtering with inflation, fuel shortages, plunging farm production and a cash crunch drag on output and continue to fan discontent in the communist-run island nation.

The intelligence on the plans for a Cuba station was gathered in recent weeks and was convincing, the Journal reported. The officials said it would allow China to conduct signals intelligence including, including emails, phone calls and satellite transmission.

The US Central Command headquarters is based in Tampa, Florida. Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg, the largest US military base, is based in North Carolina.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters,

Back to top button