The Chinese government denied that it is operating a spy base out of Cuba, which lies just 90 miles off the American coast. Beijing said that the report initially printed in the Wall Street Journal was meant to harm U.S.-China relations.
The Global Times, which often acts as a press organ for the Chinese Communist Party, said that the report of a Chinese spy base was an “old fashioned” script similar to the Biden administration’s approach to the Chinese spy balloon earlier this year.
The balloon, and its subsequent shootdown, caused Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a diplomatic trip to the People’s Republic in February.
MSNBC: "China and Cuba have now reached a secret agreement…for China to establish an electronic facility…to scoop up electronic communications throughout the southeastern U.S."
KIRBY: "It's not accurate."
MSNBC: "You're saying it's not accurate that they're planning this?"… pic.twitter.com/HaKLQW5CWU
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 8, 2023
However, the Chinese press reported that Blinken was planning to visit the country this month, which was not confirmed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The Wall Street Journal published a report that Beijing and Havana had come to an agreement for China to operate a surveillance post in the island nation.
The article said that “China has agreed to pay cash-strapped Cuba several billion dollars to allow it to build the eavesdropping station, and the two countries had reached an agreement in principle.”
At that stage, there was no detail about its location or status. Both Beijing and Havana denied the report, as did the White House.
However, the existence of a spy base was confirmed by the Associated Press and a Spanish source over the weekend.
The report cites reported White House sources who confirmed that China had been using a spy base on the island since 2019, with the anonymous source stating that “China conducted an upgrade of its spying operation on the island in 2019.”
The Global Times said that the alleged base was just a “rumor” and said that “some people” in the United States want to spoil the possible visit by Blinken to the country.
“If there hadn’t been a round of hype about the “balloon incident” in the US in February, the current show might have a little more novelty,” the Chinese newspaper read.