China and Cuba are said to have concluded an espionage agreement, according to U.S. intelligence. Beijing apparently wants to spy on the U.S. area from the island state.
Beijing/Havana – According to information from the US intelligence services, China is planning a spy station in Cuba, as reported by the American newspaper Wall Street Journal. The two countries have agreed on the construction of a listening facility and Beijing wants to invest several billion US dollars in the project. According to U.S. officials, the station could be used to monitor communications in the southeastern U.S. and shipping traffic.
China also relies on surveillance abroad (symbolic image). © Wu Hong/dpa
U.S. intelligence agencies: China plans spy station in Cuba
Apparently, there is currently a threat of new explosives for the already tense relationship between the US and China. After the weeks-long dispute over the American shooting down of a suspected Chinese spy balloon at the beginning of February this year, China seems to be expanding its eavesdropping activities in the US region. The Wall Street Journal, citing U.S. officials who have access to intelligence information, reports a Chinese plan to set up a listening station in Cuba. To this end, it has already concluded an espionage agreement with the island state.
The espionage facility would give Beijing's eavesdropping services access to valuable U.S. information - because it would be about 100 miles (about 161 km) from Florida, where many American military bases are located. It could also monitor the communications of U.S. citizens, including e-mail and telephone traffic, as well as shipping. It is still unclear when the spy station will be built. However, US President Joe Biden's administration is alarmed by the listening station on the doorstep of the USA.
"While I can't comment on this specific report, we are well aware of the People's Republic of China's efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that may have military purposes," John Kirby, spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, told the Wall Street Journal.
China and the U.S. are spying on each other
The U.S. views China as its most dangerous military and economic rival, as the White House's National Security Strategy report last October made clear. China and the U.S. are rival great powers spying on each other on a daily basis. In recent months, there have also been several confrontations between the two states. The U.S. had shot down a Chinese spy balloon over the United States, but it had apparently already collected information from the U.S. military.
In the South China Sea, fighter jets and warships of the USA and China repeatedly come dangerously close to each other. And the Taiwan conflict also repeatedly leads to tensions. For example, the visit of US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan last August led to China's demonstrations of power in the form of military exercises around Taiwan.
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Regarding the spy station apparently planned in Cuba, Beijing could argue that the U.S. was also conducting intelligence activities near China, analysts told the Wall Street Journal. For example, there are also surveillance missions by US military aircraft over the South China Sea. (kasa)