America and China try to move past a new bump in relations
FEW AMERICANS would ever forget those chilling 18 minutes in the evening of October 22nd 1962. As they gathered around their radios and televisions, their president, John F. Kennedy, revealed that the Soviet Union had moved nuclear- capable missiles to Cuba, 90 miles (140km) from the coast of Florida. America would blockade the island until they were removed, he said. It was the first the public learned of the crisis that over the next five days would bring the world to the brink of nuclear war.
很少有美国人会忘记1962年10月22日晚上那令人不寒而栗的18分钟。当他们聚集在收音机和电视周围时，他们的总统约翰肯尼迪透露，苏联已将具有核能力的导弹移至距佛罗里达海岸90英里 (140千米) 的古巴。他说，美国将封锁该岛，直到将其撤离为止。这是公众第一次了解到这场危机，在接下来的五天里，这场危机将把世界带到核战争的边缘。
Analogies with that episode were perhaps inevitable when the Wall Street Journal, followed by several other American media outlets, reported on June 8th that China had made a secret agreement to establish a listening station in Cuba. Senators from both sides of the aisle urged the White House to take preventative action. Mike Gallagher, a Republican congressman who chairs the House of Representatives’ new bipartisan Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, warned that a new cold war “once again, has come to our doorstep”. He even quoted from Kennedy’s address that night in 1962.
当《华尔街日报》和其他几家美国媒体随后于 6 月 8 日报道中国已达成一项在古巴建立监听站的秘密协议时，与这一事件的类比也许是不可避免的。 两党参议员都敦促白宫采取预防行动。 众议院新成立的两党中国共产党特别委员会主席、共和党众议员迈克·加拉格尔警告说，新冷战“再次来到我们家门口”。 他甚至引用了 1962 年那天晚上肯尼迪的讲话。
Yet such comparisons are undue. The White House, having initially dismissed the reports as inaccurate, now says that China has gathered signals intelligence from Cuba for some time and upgraded its facilities there in 2019. Officials say they have shared their concerns with Cuba and successfully lobbied other governments not to host Chinese military or spying outposts. Despite the furore, America’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken (pictured), will go ahead with a long-delayed visit to Beijing—his first in that role—on June 18th.
然而这样的比较是不恰当的。 白宫最初认为这些报道不准确，但现在表示，中国已经从古巴收集信号情报一段时间，并于 2019 年升级了那里的设施。官员们表示，他们已与古巴表达了他们的担忧，并成功游说其他国家政府不要接待中国军事或间谍前哨。 尽管引起轩然大波，美国国务卿安东尼·布林肯（如图）仍将于 6 月 18 日对北京进行拖延已久的访问，这是他就任国务卿后的首次访问。
Chinese eavesdropping in Cuba is, indeed, nothing new. A report from the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute in 2011 suggested that China had access to three listening stations there, at Bejucal, Santiago de Cuba and Lourdes. It was using them to intercept radio and mobilephone transmissions, and to conduct cyber-espionage, the report said. The Lourdes facility, just outside Havana, was the Soviet Union’s biggest overseas listening station and used by Russia until the early 2000s.
中国人在古巴的窃听确实不是什么新鲜事。美国陆军战争学院战略研究所的一份报告2011年表明，中国可以进入那里的三个监听站，分别是贝茹卡尔，古巴圣地亚哥和卢尔德。报告称，它正在使用它们拦截无线电和手机传输，并进行网络间谍活动。位于哈瓦那郊外的卢尔德 (Lourdes) 设施是苏联最大的海外收听站，俄罗斯一直使用到21世纪00年代初。
Dennis Wilder, a former China analyst at the CIA and now aprofessor at Georgetown University, says he had been awareof China’s use of Cuba for electronic eavesdropping sincethe end of the cold war. The facilities there, he says, aremost likely operated by the Third Department of the People’s Liberation Army Joint Staff Department (oftenreferred to as 3PLA and roughly equivalent to America’sNational Security Agency). Other 3PLA sites may includeNorth Korea, Pakistan and Djibouti, where China opened itsfirst (and only) overseas military base in 2017.
前中央情报局中国问题分析师、现任乔治城大学教授丹尼斯·怀尔德表示，自冷战结束以来，他就知道中国利用古巴进行电子窃听。 他说，那里的设施很可能由中国人民解放军联合参谋部第三部（通常称为 3PLA，大致相当于美国国家安全局）运营。 其他第三人民军驻地可能包括朝鲜、巴基斯坦和吉布提，中国于 2017 年在这些国家开设了第一个（也是唯一 一个）海外军事基地。
China is probably using facilities in Cuba to try to hoover up information related to American satellite systems, Mr Wilder suggests, and the recent upgrades may have involved installing bigger, more powerful data-gathering equipment, which is often contained in large round structures known as radomes. “That’s the kind of thing that I think that the Chinese are trying to put in Cuba—very large arrays with tremendous capability,” he says. “That kind of capability would be very, very useful to the Chinese military.”
怀尔德表示，中国可能正在利用古巴的设施试图收集与美国卫星系统有关的信息，最近的升级可能涉及安装更大、更强大的数据收集设备，通常包含在称为天线罩的大型圆形结构中。他说: "我认为中国人正试图把这种东西放在古巴 -- 非常大的阵列和强大的能力,这种能力对中国军队来说将是非常非常有用的。”
Troubling as that may be for America, it has few good options to respond. China and Cuba have both denied the media reports and the Biden administration’s subsequent allegations. Anyway, such facilities do not violate international law. And America is thought to have many similar sites in countries around the world, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia, and uses them to gather signals intelligence on China. So America is unlikely seriously to escalate its protests over any such Chinese activity in Cuba.
尽管这对美国来说可能是令人不安的，但它没有什么好的选择可以回应。中国和古巴都否认了媒体的报道和拜登政府随后的指控。无论如何，这种设施并不违反国际法。据认为，美国在世界各国 (包括日本，韩国，台湾和澳大利亚) 都有许多类似的站点，并利用它们来收集有关中国的信号情报。因此，美国不太可能严重升级对中国在古巴的任何此类活动的抗议。