China’s Global Intelligence Network Expands, Threatening U.S. National Security


A new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) suggests that China has likely upgraded and expanded its spy stations in Cuba, posing a significant threat to the national security of the United States. The report raises concerns that China may be aiming to bring its intelligence-gathering capabilities closer to America’s doorstep, potentially exacerbating the ongoing Cold War between China and the U.S.

CSIS researchers analyzed satellite images and identified four electronic spying stations in Cuba that have been upgraded and expanded: Bejucal, Calabazar, Wajay, and El Salao. The site at Wajay has seen significant growth over the past 20 years, with the addition of 12 antennas and numerous buildings. The El Salao site, which is under construction, will likely house multiple circularly disposed antenna arrays (CDAAs) once complete.

CDAAs were previously used by the U.S. and Soviet Union during the Cold War to monitor each other’s military activities. China’s expansion of these capabilities raises concerns that Beijing may be able to intercept high-frequency signals, allowing it to gather intelligence on U.S. military operations and communications.

China’s involvement in Cuba’s telecommunications infrastructure also raises concerns about potential security risks. Huawei and ZTE, both blacklisted by the U.S. government over espionage risks, form the backbone of Cuba’s telecommunications network. CSIS notes that high-level exchanges between China’s People’s Liberation Army and Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces demonstrate the depth of military cooperation between the two nations.

CSIS suggests that these spy stations not only enhance China’s ability to gather military intelligence but also allow it to intercept commercial communications and obtain valuable business intelligence. Moreover, China may be using these facilities as a tool of deterrence, signaling to Washington that it could cause trouble at America’s doorstep should the U.S. decide to defend Taiwan militarily.

The report concludes that decisive action is needed to address the growing threat posed by China’s intelligence-gathering capabilities. Andrew Harding of the Heritage Foundation urges the Biden administration to recognize the new Cold War and take action to counter China’s aggressive activities.

Helen Raleigh
Helen Raleigh
Senior Contributor. Helen Raleigh, CFA, is an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker. Her writings appear in other national media, including The Wall Street Journal and Fox News.

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