China to build spy base in Cuba, says report; US and Cuba cast doubt
John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said the govt officials have read the report and thought it was incorrect. He said the United States has had “real concerns” about China’s relationship with Cuba and was closely monitoring it.
A former US intelligence official said that a Chinese listening post would be a “big deal,” marking an expansion of Beijing’s spying capabilities and giving it access to signals intelligence as far north as Washington. (Reuters photo)
By Reuters: China has reached a secret deal with Cuba to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island roughly 100 miles (160 km) from Florida, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, but the US and Cuban governments cast strong doubt on the report.
Such a spy installation would allow Beijing to gather electronic communications from the southeastern US, which houses many US military bases, as well as monitor ship traffic, the newspaper reported, citing US officials familiar with classified intelligence.
The US Central Command headquarters is based in Tampa. Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg, the largest US military base, is in North Carolina.
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.