A report has emerged suggesting that China is in discussions with Cuba to establish a military training facility located approximately 100 miles off the coast of Florida. This news comes just a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded talks with Chinese officials in Beijing.
According to The Wall Street Journal, unnamed “current and former U.S. officials” have cited U.S. intelligence documents indicating that the deal between China and Cuba is nearing its final stages. The Biden administration is reportedly attempting to dissuade Cuba from proceeding with the project. The White House has chosen not to comment on the report.
The concerns raised by the sources include the potential establishment of a permanent Chinese military base in Cuba, which could facilitate extensive intelligence-gathering activities targeting the United States. The proposed facility is said to be part of China’s broader initiative known as “Project 141,” aimed at expanding military and logistical capabilities worldwide. Although intelligence reports on this matter are described as “convincing but fragmentary,” they reference China’s intentions.
The military training facility would supplement China’s existing presence in Cuba, which reportedly consists of four jointly operated eavesdropping stations, as per undisclosed U.S. officials. The number of Chinese spy sites on the island increased in 2019, expanding their involvement. The report does not name the specific sites.
During Secretary Blinken’s recent meetings with Chinese officials, the topic of Chinese intelligence activities in Cuba was discussed, along with other global and regional security issues. The State Department release emphasized the United States’ commitment to working with allies and partners to promote a world that is free, open, and adheres to a rules-based international order.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration revealed that China has been conducting espionage activities in the U.S. from Cuba since 2019. The Journal previously reported on June 8 that an agreement had been reached to establish a spy base, leading to subsequent admissions by Biden administration officials about the ongoing issue.
As this situation continues to unfold, the implications of China’s potential military presence in Cuba and its intelligence activities remain subjects of concern and interest.