Blinken addresses alleged Chinese spy operation in Cuba

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has addressed an alleged Chinese spying operation based in Cuba, claiming it is part of a broader effort by Beijing to expand its overseas logistics and intelligence infrastructure. This comes after a US official confirmed that China has been operating an intelligence unit in Cuba for years, which was upgraded in 2019.

Blinken stated that Beijing’s objective was to “project and sustain military power at a greater distance.” The Biden administration had been briefed on these developments upon taking office. However, last Friday, White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby refuted a Wall Street Journal report claiming that Cuba and China had reached a preliminary agreement to construct a spy base on the island nation in exchange for several billion US dollars. Kirby said the report was “not accurate” without providing further details.

A US official later clarified that while Beijing had indeed operated intelligence collection facilities on the island, “this is an ongoing issue and not a new development.” Kirby maintained that the framing of the original report was “inaccurate,” but could not provide further context due to the information not being declassified.

Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio dismissed the report as “slanderous speculation” on Twitter, while China’s foreign ministry spokesperson accused the US of “spreading rumours and slander.”

Blinken did not reference the Wall Street Journal report or its content during his statement. Instead, he focused on the spying issue as a long-term concern, implying that the response by the Trump administration had been insufficient. Blinken stated that the Biden administration’s strategy to counter China’s spying begins with diplomacy, engaging governments considering hosting Chinese bases and exchanging information with them.

“Our experts assess our diplomatic efforts have slowed down this effort by the PRC, it’s something that we’re very carefully monitoring,” Blinken added.

Cuba and China have maintained stable relations for years, pursuing trade and development initiatives together. The US has imposed an arms embargo on Cuba for decades, despite regular condemnation from the United Nations General Assembly. In recent years, Washington’s relations with Beijing have become increasingly strained, as several Latin American countries have moved to officially recognise China, with critics accusing Beijing of using financial support to strengthen ties.

World News


With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

Related Articles