The deal, which is reportedly worth billions and has been agreed upon in principle, will allow China to construct a facility that can intercept communications in the southeastern U.S., home to dozens of military bases. The Chinese spy base could also monitor U.S. ship traffic, WSJ reported.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said he could not speak specifically to the alarming report, but the planned spy base in Cuba has caused alarm within the Biden administration, according to the outlet. Officials said that the Chinese facility would allow Beijing to monitor emails, phone calls, and satellite transmissions through espionage monitoring known as SIGINT.
“While I cannot speak to this specific report, we are well aware of — and have spoken many times to — the People’s Republic of China’s efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that may have military purposes, including in this hemisphere,” Kirby said. “We monitor it closely, take steps to counter it, and remain confident that we are able to meet all our security commitments at home, in the region, and around the world.”
The report of a potential Chinese spy operation targeting the U.S. from just outside its borders comes as relations between the two world powers continue to deteriorate. China has raised tensions as it reportedly mulls a plan to take over Taiwan, but the U.S. has stood strong by Taiwan, selling arms and deploying a small number of troops to the island that China claims sovereignty over. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to travel to China to meet with communist dictator Xi Jinping later this month.
Earlier this week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) said recent events have pointed to “unbelievable aggression” from communist China directed at Western nations.
“Well, what we’re seeing is an unbelievable aggression by China,” Turner told ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday. “If you look at the balloon that flew over the United States, the Chinese police stations, the aggressiveness against our both planes and ships in international water, it goes right to the heart of what President Xi said when he stood next to Putin in Russia, where he said, they’re trying to make change that had not happened in 100 years.”
According to some experts, China believes a base in Cuba would level the playing field since the U.S. has a presence in Taiwan off of China’s coast.
“Establishing this facility signals a new, escalatory phase in China’s broader defense strategy. It’s a bit of a game changer,” Craig Singleton, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Journal. “The selection of Cuba is also intentionally provocative.”