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New round of possible China spy actions in Cuba island, reported by the US.

First reported by the Wall Street Journal on June 8, 2023, an anonymous US official has told the agency that the US believe China and the Cuba government had come to an agreement that will allow the Chinese to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the Cuban island in exchange of several billions paid, causing new geopolitical tension

If confirmed, the new facility, located within 160 kilometres to the Florida state of the US, will allow China to gather all sorts of electronic communications sent in and out of the South-Eastern US, where military bases settled, causing a real national security threat for the US.

Sooner, the news got a response from the national security council spokesperson John Kirby, who told other news outlets like Reuters that the report has not been seen and are sceptical about the accuracy of the information, the representative did not deny such a possibility, only re-emphasising that the US has always had such concerns and are closely monitoring. Similarly, US defence department spokesperson Brig Gen Patrick Ryder has also said similar, that they are not aware of the reported new spy agreements between the two.

The Beijing and Havana authority both responded quickly and vehemently after rumours of spy cooperation. Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez De Cossio criticised that the information was made up by the US, stressing that Cuba has always rejected all foreign military presence in the region. Responding to a Regular Press Conference on June 9, 2023, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated that they are not aware of the China-Cuba agreement reports, restating that the US has illegally occupied Cuban bay areas and imposed blockades, and the US should stop interfering Cuba’s internal affairs.

The new round of rumour come at awkward timing, as the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has planned to travel to Beijing for a long-delayed discussion between the two great power, expecting to be in the country on June 18, 2023, for discussion aiming to stabilize tension.

Chinese spy actions have become an important concern for US national security. Early April 2023, Washington announced that a suspected Chinese ‘spy balloon’ have been shot down by the US air force, with photos of the possible ‘surveillance balloon’ taken. The US claimed to have recovered most part of the balloon, including priorities sensors and electronic pieces that are possibly used for surveillance over important US military bases that the balloon crossed over since first spotted, on 28 January in South Carolina. Beijing has responded to the accusation, strongly opposing the claim that the balloon is used for intelligence-gathering but is just a simple civilian vessel that has accidentally gone off.  Yet tension has continued to accumulate.

More disputes had occurred since the balloon incident
. Most recently, in the twentieth Shangri-la Summit for Asia premier defence, the Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu, had refused to formally meet with US officials, further soaring tension. With this new spy rumour, the tension between the two states continues to worsen, with Blinken carrying a heavier responsibility to seek ways for relieving such a conflictual relationship.

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Tags: #China #US #Cuba


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