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China in high-level talks for military training facility in Cuba to station troops off US shores: report

China and Cuba are reportedly engaged in high-level discussions to establish a new joint military training facility on the island, raising the prospect of Beijing stationing troops less than 100 miles off U.S. shores. 

The Wall Street Journal first reported Tuesday that U.S. intelligence suggests talks about a facility on Cuba’s northern coast “are at an advanced stage but not concluded,” as the Biden administration has contacted Cuban officials to stall the agreement and dissuade any course of action due to concerns the Communist nation might have about ceding sovereignty. 

Citing current and former U.S. officials, the Journal reported that the proposal for the China-Cuba military training facility was referenced “in highly classified new U.S. intelligence, which they described as convincing but fragmentary.” 

The sources reportedly said the prospect of a facility could mean China permanently hosting troops in Cuba and broadening intelligence gathering against the United States. 

Cuba and Taiwan are each about 100 miles off the U.S. and Chinese mainlands, respectively.

A senior Biden administration official told Fox News Digital that she could not confirm or deny the details of the Journal’s reporting or comment on specifics, adding that the White House continues to be concerned about China’s longstanding activities with Cuba. The official said China will keep trying to enhance its presence in Cuba, and the U.S. will keep working to disrupt it, though the Biden administration remains confident it will continue to meet all security commitments at home and in the region.

Blinken and Xi shake hands in broadcast in China

A China Central Television news broadcast shows footage of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping on June 19, 2023. (GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

“I was born in Cuba, and was forced to flee with my family shortly after the Communist takeover,” Rep. Carlos Giménez, a Republican representing Florida’s southernmost district, told Fox News Digital in a statement, reacting to the report. “Castro’s Cuba is a listed State Sponsor of Terrorism that actively undermines the United States and harbors our enemies. We learned of Communist China’s spy base in Cuba last week, and today, it was revealed the CCP is building training grounds in Cuba — posing a direct threat to our national security. The Biden Administration is asleep at the wheel while Communist China, Russia, and Iran continue to infiltrate our Hemisphere.”

In a statement Monday, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that during Blinken’s visit both sides discussed “a range of global and regional security issues, including Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the DPRK’s provocative actions and U.S. concerns with PRC intelligence activities in Cuba.” 

Blinken speaks at Beijing press conference

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference in Beijing Monday, June 19, 2023. Blinken said the U.S.-China relationship had taken a “positive step” forward during his two-day trip to Beijing. (Andrea Verdelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“The Secretary made clear that the United States will work with its allies and partners to advance our vision for a world that is free, open and upholds the rules-based international order,” Miller said. 

The Journal was also the first to report about plans for a Chinese spy base in Cuba earlier this month. 

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