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China has had a secret spy facility in Cuba for years, Biden admin confirms after initially denying accuracy of related report

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel (Xinhua/Liu Bin via Getty Images)

A Biden administration official recently confirmed that China has been operating a secret spy facility in Cuba for several years, the New York Post reported.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal published an article stating that anonymous officials with access to highly classified intelligence claimed that China had reached an agreement with Cuba to build an eavesdropping facility on the island to gather intelligence on the United States.

However, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby denied the report.

"We've seen the report. It's not accurate. We're focused on making sure that we can mitigate any threats from China in the region," Kirby told MSNBC on Thursday.

Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío also denied the existence of a Chinese spy base in Cuba.

"The slanderous speculation continues, evidently promoted by certain media to cause harm and alarm without observing minimum patterns of communication and without providing data or evidence to support what they disseminate," he stated.

Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder stated that the WSJ's report was "not accurate."

"I can tell you based on the information that we have, that that is not accurate, that we are not aware of China and Cuba developing a new type of spy station," Ryder said on Thursday.

Days later, a Biden administration official confirmed that China has been spying on the United States from Cuba since at least 2019.

The anonymous White House official called it an "ongoing matter" that is "not a new development," adding that the problem was one that the Biden administration "inherited."

"When this administration took office in January 2021, we were briefed on a number of sensitive [People's Republic of China] efforts around the world to expand its overseas logistics, basing, and collection infrastructure globally to allow the [People's Liberation Army] to project and sustain military power at greater distance," the official stated.

China upgraded the eavesdropping facility in 2019, according to the official, who noted that it was "well documented in the intelligence record."

The White House official stated that the administration denied the WSJ's report because it called the spy facility a new development.

"This is an ongoing issue, and not a new development, and the arrangement as characterized in the reporting does not comport with our understanding," the official claimed.

Early in his term, Biden ordered his team to address China's spying operations, the official reported.

"The president directed his team to come up with an approach to address this challenge. Within months, we did so, and we have been executing on that approach quietly, carefully, but with results ever since," the official. "We've engaged governments that are considering hosting PRC bases at high levels and exchanged information with them."

"Our experts assess that our diplomatic efforts have slowed the PRC down. We think the PRC isn't quite where they had hoped to be," the official continued. "There are still challenges, and we continue to be concerned about the PRC's long-standing activities with Cuba. The PRC will keep trying to enhance its presence in Cuba, and we will keep working to disrupt it."

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