China and Cuba close to military base deal – WSJ

Lazy eyes listen


The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Beijing and Havana are in talks to create a military training facility in Cuba, citing current and former US officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The talks about the installation on Cuba’s northern shore are “at an advanced stage but not concluded,” according to the WSJ, citing “convincing but fragmentary” and highly classified US intelligence files.

According to current and former officials, the facility will be part of ‘Project 141,’ a Chinese military program to establish bases and logistical support all over the world. If genuine, this “could provide China with a platform to potentially house troops permanently on the island” and perhaps boost espionage gathering against the US, according to the report.

The revelation comes just after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited China to “halt a downward spiral in relations” between Washington and Beijing, according to the Journal. Even Chinese President Xi Jinping greeted him.

Earlier this month, the same site claimed the presence of a “Chinese spy base” in Cuba. After first dismissing the report as “inaccurate,” the White House disclosed intelligence data claiming four Chinese information-collection facilities have been operating in Cuba since at least 2019.

Cuba condemned the original WSJ article “totally mendacious and unfounded,” while the Foreign Chinese Ministry remarked on June 9 that the US was a “expert in chasing shadows” in other nations and meddling in their affairs. Beijing also pointed out that Washington has been blockading Havana for more than 60 years and has its own military facility in Guantanamo Bay.

The White House did not respond to the new WSJ report. According to the unnamed officials, President Joe Biden’s administration has reached out to Cuba in order to derail the agreement, citing “what it believes to be Cuban concerns about ceding sovereignty.”

Other authorities suspected that China’s move was in response to the US sending over 100 troops to Taiwan earlier this year to train the local military. According to the Journal, Taiwan is nearly the same distance from the Chinese mainland as Cuba is from the United States. It failed to mention that the United States recognizes the island as Chinese under the ‘One China’ policy, despite the fact that Cuba has been an independent state since 1902.