The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday denied allegations that China was spying on the US from Cuba and criticized the conflicting information coming from the US government and media outlets.
The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that Beijing and Havana reached an agreement “in principle” on establishing a Chinese spy facility in Cuba. The Pentagon and White House quickly dismissed the report, calling it “not accurate,” but an unnamed Biden administration official later told the media that China had been spying on the US from Cuba since at least 2019.
“Over the past few days, we have seen self-conflicting comments from US officials and media on the so-called allegation of China building ‘spy facilities’ in Cuba,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
“What is true can never be false, and what is false can never be true. No matter how the US tries with slanders and smears, it will not succeed in driving a wedge between two true friends, China and Cuba, nor can it cover up its deplorable track record of indiscriminate mass spying around the world,” Wang added.
The allegations about a Chinese spying facility in Cuba caused a frenzy among China hawks in Washington and led to calls for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to again cancel his plans to visit China. US officials have said Blinken will travel to China on June 18, but Wang did not confirm the plans. “As to the visit you asked about, I have nothing to share,” he told reporters.
China hawks in Congress are demanding the Biden administration take action over the alleged Chinese spying facility in Cuba. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said if China establishes a spy facility in Cuba, it would be a “direct assault upon the United States.”
But if China is looking to gather intelligence on the US from Cuba, it would be a response to the US running surveillance operations near the Chinese coast. The US is constantly flying surveillance flights over the South China Sea, is suspected of having signals intelligence capabilities in Taiwan, and helps India spy on Chinese troops near the disputed border in the Himalayas.