The White House has denied reports that China intends to establish a monitoring base in Cuba off the US coast. The Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing and Havana had concluded a secret agreement to set up a Chinese electronic espionage facility on the Caribbean island that could monitor communications along the southeast of the US, where the HQ of the US military’s Southern and Central Command are located, both in Florida. According to the newspaper, and quoting unnamed US officials, China would pay Cuba billions of dollars for the construction of the facility amidst tension in relations between Washington and Beijing against the backdrop of Washington’s support for the autonomy of Taiwan. In a statement to MSNBC, John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, denied the information. Pentagon spokesman Pat Riley described the Wall Street Journal report as inaccurate, but Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Republican Marco Rubio, who chair the Senate Intelligence Committee and are usually briefed on security issues, expressed in a statement “grave concern” about the report.
Source: Jordan News Agency