- by cnn
- 29 Nov 2023
Cuba has agreed to allow China to build a spying facility on the island that could allow the Chinese to eavesdrop on electronic communications across the southeastern US, a source familiar with the intelligence told CNN.
The US learned about the plan in the last several weeks, the first source said, and it is unclear whether China has already begun building the surveillance facility.
Another source familiar with the intelligence says it suggests that a deal has been struck in principle but there hasn't been any movement on building the facility.
It would not be the first time China has attempted to spy on the US' electronic communications, known as signals intelligence. A suspected Chinese spy balloon that transited the US in February was capable of gathering signals intelligence and is believed to have transmitted back to Beijing in near-real time, sources told CNN at the time.
In that case, the US took steps to protect sensitive sites and censor intelligence signals before shooting down the balloon. But it is unclear what the US can do to stop the construction of a Chinese spying facility in Cuba.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the new intelligence about the facility.
"This report is not accurate," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a statement on Thursday afternoon. "We have had real concerns about China's relationship with Cuba, and we have been concerned since day one of the Administration about China's activities in our hemisphere and around the world. We are closely monitoring it and taking steps to counter it. We remain confident that we are able to meet all our security commitments at home and in the region."
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