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China and Havana in Talks for Joint Military Training Facility in Cuba

June 22, 2023 | By Kali Girl

According to Politico, China and Cuba are engaged in discussions to establish a joint military training facility on an island located just 100 miles from the United States mainland, as per a senior U.S. official.

The nature of the training activities and the leadership arrangement are currently being deliberated between Beijing and Havana. The Biden administration has raised this matter in conversations with Chinese and Cuban officials.

The progress of these talks and the likelihood of a potential agreement remain uncertain at this stage, according to the official.

Speaking anonymously, a U.S. administration official said, “Can’t confirm on that reporting or comment on that specifically. We continue to be concerned about [China’s] longstanding activities with Cuba,” adding that Beijing “will keep trying to enhance its presence in Cuba, and we will keep working to disrupt it.”

During the Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting in China with paramount leader Xi Jinping on Monday, the talks were deemed fruitful by both officials. However, the discussions were somewhat lacking in explicit outcomes, as China declined Washington’s request to reinstate military-to-military communications—an expectation that the United States had eagerly anticipated.

Blinken told reporters he had made it “very clear” during his meetings in China this week that Washington has “deep concerns about PRC intelligence or military activities in Cuba.”

“This is something we’re going to be monitoring very very closely,” Blinken told reporters Monday. “I think it’s absolutely vital that we have these kinds of communications, military to military.” “That imperative, I think, was only underscored by recent incidents that we saw in the air and on the seas.”

Ten days prior, the Biden administration acknowledged the presence of a Chinese spy base in Cuba, which had been operational since at least 2019.

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