China is on the move. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) now has listening posts in Cuba, and Beijing will soon establish a joint training ground for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Cuban military forces. Havana is a hot destination for China! This bold move by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is another example of the threat the Red Dragon poses.
China Settles in Cuba
Breaking the story of China’s military homesteading in Cuba, The Wall Street Journal explained:
“China and Cuba are negotiating to establish a new joint military training facility on the island, sparking alarm in Washington that it could lead to the stationing of Chinese troops and other security and intelligence operations just 100 miles off Florida’s coast, according to current and former US officials. Discussions for the facility on Cuba’s northern coast are at an advanced stage but not concluded, US intelligence reports suggest.”
Reports of the joint training base have not been made public before – but they should come as no surprise. The PLA’s expansion of military bases, intelligence-gathering sites, and logistics facilities even has a name. “The planned facility is part of China’s ‘Project 141,’ an initiative by the People’s Liberation Army to expand its global military base and logistical support network,” the WSJ reported. News of Beijing’s increasing foothold in America’s backyard came while President Joe Biden’s diplomatic mission traveled to China, hoping to smooth relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping – a visit many believed to be ill-advised. As it turned out, the critics were accurate.
As Liberty Nation described the round-robin of talks with Chinese officials on June 19, “prospects for significant progress in lowering tensions with the People’s Republic of China – at the first meeting in five years between a high-level US official and President Xi Jinping – were set low. From early reports of the conversations, [Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s] expectations were fulfilled.” Those particularly adverse to Blinken’s outreach to the CCP leadership make a valid point. “You have to be worried about a policy that advocates for an engagement like this, head[ing] over to China without first holding them accountable for a series of inappropriate behaviors,” said retired US Navy Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery to Fox News.
Blinken Offers Diplomat-Speak
At a joint press availability session at the UK Foreign Secretary’s residence, WSJ’s Will Mauldin asked, “Did you discuss with Xi Jinping their military activities in Cuba?” Blinken answered in Foggy Bottom diplomat-speak:
“Since the start of this administration, we have engaged a number of countries where we’ve seen consideration of having some kind of presence by China – intelligence, military – and we’ve engaged in a number of diplomatic efforts in that regard. And I think they’ve had some success in slowing down these efforts. This is something we’re going to be monitoring very, very closely, and we’ve been very clear about that. And we will protect our homeland; we will protect our interests.”
The fact that China has an influential presence in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, Senegal, Ghana, Djibouti, the Solomon Islands, Kenya, and Canton Island in the Pacific, to name a few, indicates that US monitoring and engaging have not been successful. Perhaps the Biden foreign policy and defense teams can figure out how to stop the CCP’s campaign to surround the United States.
The significance of the PRC taking up residence in Cuba is two-fold: First, the Chinese will build training infrastructure, not so much to benefit the Cuban military but to establish a permanent presence for surveillance of the United States and from which to cause mischief in the region. Second, and slightly more nuanced, having a PLA installation within a stone’s throw of Key West is a message to the rest of the world that Beijing has the will and power to be wherever it wants. A geopolitical nose-thumbing at the United States. Monitor that, President Biden.
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