China on Friday slammed media reports, which cited unnamed American officials, that it was establishing a spy base in Cuba, calling them “rumors” and “slander.”
The Central American island nation as well as the US have also denied such reports.
Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, however, said: “Spreading rumors and slander is a common tactic of the US.”
He was reacting to a story by the US-based Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that Cuban and Chinese officials reached an agreement to establish a facility to conduct what is known as signals intelligence collection.
“The US has illegally occupied the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba for a long time, engaged in ulterior activities, and imposed an embargo on Cuba for more than 60 years,” Wang told reporters in Beijing, according to the Chinese daily Global Times.
The US “should reflect on itself, stop interfering in Cuba's internal affairs under the banner of freedom, democracy and human rights, and immediately cancel its commercial and financial blockade of Cuba,” said Wang.
Cuba late Thursday denied claims that China and the Havana administration have agreed to establish a base on the island country to spy on the US.
Rejecting the report, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, Cuban deputy foreign minister, called it totally “untrue and unfounded” and said that such news was “promoted with the malicious intention to justify the unprecedented reinforcement of the economic blockade, destabilization and the aggression against Cuba.”
He said that the Cuban government rejects any “foreign military presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the numerous military bases and troops of the US, and especially the military base that illegally occupies a portion of our national territory in the province of Guantánamo.”
The US has also denied the report.
China’s plan to establish an electronic intelligence facility in Cuba, as reported in the WSJ citing "US officials familiar with classified intelligence," was "not accurate," Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder told reporters on Thursday.
Responding to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's plans to visit China, Wang said: "China's stance in dialogue with the US is consistent and the door for communication is always open."
"But the crux of the problem is that we cannot 'communicate for the sake of communication,' let alone 'say one thing and do another,'" said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
"The US should stop interfering in China's internal affairs, stop harming China's interests, and stop undermining the political foundation of bilateral relations while claiming to build 'guardrails'," Wang added.