China and Cuba have reached a secret agreement allowing Beijing to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island, in a brash new geopolitical challenge by Beijing to the US.

This is according to US officials familiar with highly classified intelligence.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that an eavesdropping facility in Cuba, roughly 100 miles from Florida, would allow Chinese intelligence services to scoop up electronic communications throughout the southeastern United States, where many military bases are located, and monitor US ship traffic.

Officials familiar with the matter say China has agreed to pay cash-strapped Cuba several billion dollars to allow it to build the eavesdropping station.

The two countries have reportedly reached an agreement in principle.

The revelation about the planned site has sparked alarm within the Biden administration because of Cuba’s proximity to the U.S. mainland.

Washington regards Beijing as its most significant economic and military rival.

A Chinese base with advanced military and intelligence capabilities in the U.S.’ backyard could be an unprecedented new threat to American security.