China has described reports in the US media that China is building spy facilities in Cuba as "self-contradictions".
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said "rumors and defamation" could not destroy the friendship between China and Cuba, "and the United States cannot cover up its abhorrent record of large-scale phone tapping operations around the world."
The remarks come as reports of an upcoming visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman denied having any information to provide about it.
An official in the administration of US President Joe Biden said a few days ago that China is spying on the United States from a base in Cuba, and that this base was established before the Biden administration took office, noting that China modernized intelligence collection facilities there in 2019.
The official added that China's espionage efforts are an ongoing concern, and that the U.S. administration is taking steps to deal with them. He stressed that China will seek to strengthen its presence in Cuba, but Washington will continue to work to disrupt it.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby denied reports of the issue, saying: "I have seen that report. It's not accurate."
"What I can say is that we have been concerned from day one under this administration about Chinese influence activities around the world, certainly in this hemisphere, in this region," he said.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that China and Cuba had reached a secret agreement to build a wiretapping facility on the Caribbean island.
The eavesdropping facility in Cuba, located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Florida, will allow Chinese intelligence services to obtain electronic communications throughout the southeastern United States, where many military bases are located, as well as monitor the movement of U.S. ships.
The newspaper quoted officials as insiders that China agreed to pay cash-strapped Cuba several billion dollars to allow it to build the eavesdropping station, and that the two countries had reached an agreement in principle.
Pentagon spokesman Pat Riley called the Wall Street Journal report inaccurate, saying, "We are not aware of China and Cuba building any spy station of any kind," adding that "the relations that these two countries have are something that we constantly monitor."
Cuba also denied the matter, as Carlos Fernandez de Cosio, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, said in a statement read to the press, last Thursday, that the American newspaper "Wall Street Journal" published on the eighth of June a completely false and unfounded information stating that there is an agreement between Cuba and China in the military field to establish a supposed espionage base.
Cuba rejects any foreign military presence in Latin America, including the many military bases and troops (of the United States), he said, adding that "slanders of this kind are often fabricated by American officials."