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Sharp China with Bill Bishop

(Preview) A PRC Spy Station in Cuba; Xi and “Extreme” Scenarios; Domestic Stimulus and Foreign Money Exodus; What Beijing Did to Improve Air Quality

Wed Jun 14 2023

Secretary of State Blinken's Visit to Beijing

  • Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on June 18 for meetings.
  • The Chinese side has not officially confirmed the visit.
  • The US is more eager to send Blinken than the Chinese are to have him, and there may not be significant material outcomes from the visit.

China's Spy Facility in Cuba

  • China and Cuba have reportedly reached a secret agreement for China to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island.
  • The spy facility can intercept electronic communications in the southeastern U.S. and monitor ship traffic.
  • The Biden administration initially denied the existence of the spy facility but later confirmed it.
  • The Trump administration was aware of the spy facility.
  • The Chinese have had a spying facility in Cuba for some time, including during the Obama administration.
  • It is not clear what actual national security risks this poses, but there may be more revelations about Chinese activities in Cuba soon.
  • Several news outlets confirmed the existence of the spy facility after initial denials by the Biden administration.

Complications and Geopolitical Implications

  • Domestic politics surrounding Cuba and China are complicated and fraught, which could lead to greater uproar depending on future reports.
  • There are rumors that someone is trying to sabotage a trip to China, possibly related to shifting Biden policies towards Cuba.
  • The issue involves complicated and toxic fraud issues that cannot be ignored.
  • The Biden administration is pressuring Cuba and other countries privately to shift their policies regarding Chinese involvement.
  • The spying facility in Cuba may be part of a bigger package related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), making it seem like the Chinese have a huge presence in America's backyard.