China bases in Cuba most serious threat to US, Trumps says
Former US President Donald Trump claims that China's bases in Cuba pose the most serious threat to the United States.
The military bases set up by China in Cuba pose the most serious threat to the United States, former US President Donald Trump said Friday at the Moms for Liberty forum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"China – they opened up military bases, they are opening up military operations in Cuba, 90 miles off our coast. That is the most serious threat that I can imagine," the former US leader told the forum.
Moreover, he claimed that the media was censoring the ordeal due to US President Joe Biden's "vulnerability" to the issue.
Trump had on Tuesday issued an ultimatum to China, demanding the removal of its military installations from Cuba within a two-day timeframe were he to win the election.
Failure to comply, Trump said, would result in the imposition of tariffs and taxes on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods. Trump also criticized President Biden for not addressing the issue and vowed to take action upon his potential return to office. "Biden does not want to talk about it," he said.
"When I get back in, I will inform China that they have 48 hours to get any military and spy equipment the hell out of Cuba or there will be taxes and tariffs placed on their billions and billions of dollars of things that they send into us like they've never seen before," the former US leader underlined.
The Wall Street Journal reported that US intelligence agencies have been monitoring suspected Chinese spy facilities in Cuba, with employees of Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE being tracked. Reports indicate that during Trump's presidency, tracking data revealed Huawei and ZTE workers entering and leaving sites suspected of engaging in Chinese spying activities from the island.
These findings have heightened concerns within the Trump administration about the potential role of Huawei and ZTE in facilitating China's espionage efforts against the United States. However, it remains uncertain whether such practices have continued under President Joe Biden's leadership.
Huawei denied the accusations, while ZTE and the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not respond to requests for comment from WSJ.
WSJ had reported that China and Cuba had allegedly reached an agreement to establish a spy base in Cuba in response to US military activities near China's borders, including in Taiwan.
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby dismissed the report as inaccurate, while Cuba slammed American media claims of an alleged plan to host a secret Chinese surveillance facility in the country, describing the reports released by WSJ and CNN as "mendacious and unfounded."
"Slander of this kind is often fabricated by US officials," Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio said, stressing that Havana rejects any foreign military presence in the region, "including the many US bases and troops."
China's Foreign Ministry said "spreading rumours and slander" is a common US tactic, calling on Washington to stop interfering in Cuba's internal affairs
WSJ and CNN claimed that Havana and Beijing made a secret agreement to establish a Chinese surveillance facility in Cuba, which could intercept communications across southeastern of the US - including the United State's Southern and Central command HQs in Florida.