By Muhemmed Abdumejit
During his recent visit and meetings with Chinese counterparts, including authoritarian leader Xi Jinping, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken conspicuously omitted any mention of the critical matter of Chinese espionage activities occurring on US soil, which encompass the establishment of multiple Chinese police stations within American cities, the deployment of spy balloons in the skies above the United States, and, notably, the establishment of spy stations near Cuba that strategically collect intelligence, posing a significant threat to the nation’s security.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, China and Cuba have secretly agreed to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility in Cuba. This audacious move by Beijing poses a new geopolitical challenge to the United States, according to highly classified intelligence known to U.S. officials. The facility’s strategic location, approximately 100 miles from Florida, enables Chinese intelligence services to intercept electronic communications in the southeastern U.S., where numerous military bases are situated, as well as monitor U.S. ship traffic.
The United States believes that this relatively unknown base, located just 116 miles (187 km) from Key West, Florida, is being used to intercept U.S. electronic communications. This information is derived from a November 2022 document from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC document cites a 2018 report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, stating that China’s Communist Party maintains a presence at Soviet-era intelligence facilities in Bejucal, which appear to be involved in signals intelligence collection.
China, regarded as Washington’s primary geopolitical rival, denied on Monday that it was using Cuba as a spy base. Cuba, on the other hand, did not respond to questions from Reuters regarding the Bejucal installation.
Bejucal, situated just 20 miles (32 km) south of Havana, gained notoriety during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when U.S. spy planes uncovered it as a hiding place for Soviet nuclear warheads. Although Moscow eventually removed the missiles, this event is widely seen as the moment when the United States and the Soviet Union came closest to nuclear confrontation. Bejucal reemerged in 2016 when U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a critic of the Cuban government, demanded that Havana expel the Chinese listening station in Bejucal as part of a list of actions, including holding free elections, that he deemed necessary before any deals could be made with Cuba.
In a joint statement, the top lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed their frustration:”The United States and our people are deeply disturbed by reports of Havana and Beijing collaborating to target us,” expressed Senators Mark Warner (D., Va.), the chairman of the panel, and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), the vice chairman.
Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) criticized the Biden administration for its indifference to the matter and called for action: “It is time to take long-overdue actions such as ending Huawei export licenses, restricting outbound investment in crucial sectors in the PRC, closing the de minimis loophole, enhancing research security, and preventing CCP land purchases near military bases.”
Muemmed abdumijit , is an Uyghur journalist with Uyghur Times, based in Oslo,Norwey