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China seeks military training facility in Cuba that would place troops near US

Jun 20


Media Landscape

This story is a Media Miss by the left as only 8% of the coverage is from left leaning media.

Left 8%

Center 33%

Right 58%

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As U.S. officials engage in discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease tensions between the two countries, reports have emerged regarding China’s plans to construct a new military training facility in Cuba, just 100 miles off the coast of Florida. The proximity of this potential Chinese base to the United States has raised concerns among many within the U.S. government, adding a new layer of complexity to ongoing efforts to improve relations.

“We would have deep concerns about PRC (People’s Republic of China) intelligence or military activities in Cuba,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “This is something we’re going to be monitoring very, very closely and we’ve been very clear about that. And we will protect our homeland, we will protect our interests.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, Washington is apprehensive about China’s proposed military expansion in Cuba, fearing that it could potentially lead to the permanent stationing of Chinese troops on the island for security and intelligence operations. Negotiation talks between China and Cuba are reportedly underway, and the U.S. is said to be attempting to delay any potential agreement between the two nations.

“I don’t know the matter you are talking about. We hope that the relevant parties will focus their energy on things that benefit mutual trust-building,” said Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning while addressing the reported talks between Beijing and Havana.

“The slanderous speculation continues, evidently promoted by certain media to cause harm and alarm without observing minimum patterns of communication and without providing data or evidence to support what they disseminate,” Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío said.

China has reportedly been gathering intelligence from its existing facilities in Cuba since at least 2019. Officials within the U.S. intelligence community have previously determined that Chinese spying from Cuba has been an “ongoing” matter and is “not a new development.” However, the expansion of these facilities, which are already capable of eavesdropping, could pose an even greater threat to U.S. national security, according to anonymous U.S. officials cited by The Wall Street Journal.

“We have been concerned since day one of this administration about China’s influence activities around the world; certainly in this hemisphere and in this region, we’re watching this very, very closely,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, who also said that the U.S. has “made our concerns known” to the Cuban government.

After months of China refusing to engage in discussions with U.S. officials, Blinken recently met with Xi and other Chinese officials in an attempt to stabilize relations between the two global powers. While Blinken noted that relations have become more stable after the meeting, China’s expansion and influence in Cuba continue to weigh on the administration.

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