The White House said Thursday that a press report about an alleged deal to allow China to install a spy base in Cuba is “inaccurate.”

“I saw the article. It’s not accurate,” the spokesman for the US president’s national security council, John Kirby, said on MSNBC.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, citing two unnamed sources in the US government, the secret agreement provides for the creation of a station for the electronic interception of communications on the Caribbean island about 200 kilometers from the coast of Florida, where important US military installations are located .

The financial paper added that China, with which the US is in increasingly tough competition, will allocate “billions of dollars” to Cuba to build this base.

“What I can tell you is that our administration has been concerned since day one about China’s activities to increase its influence around the world, particularly in our hemisphere,” Mr. Kerby said. “We are watching this very closely,” he added.

“Based on the information we have, this is not accurate. We have not been informed of any facilities in China and Cuba, of any type of espionage base,” Pentagon spokesman Wing Commander Pat Ryder said during a press conference, adding that Washington is “constantly” monitoring Beijing’s relations with of Havana.

Still, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and his Republican colleague Marco Rubio, the heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said they were “deeply troubled” by the information published by the Wall Street Journal.

“The United States must respond to China’s continued brazen attacks against our national security,” the two senators argued.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly wants to expand China’s military presence internationally to rival that of the US, whose armed forces are present on all continents.

“We must make it clear that China’s installation of a spy base 100 miles from Florida and the US would be unacceptable,” the senators insisted.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had electronic espionage facilities in Cuba.

In 1962, the US observed missile launch pads. President John F. Kennedy decided to impose a naval blockade on the island, and for several days, the threat of open conflict – without ruling out the use of nuclear weapons – between the two superpowers reached a fever pitch.

The USSR decided not to install missiles in Cuba and the US withdrew its missiles from Turkey.

In January and February, a Chinese balloon that Washington described as a “spy” flew high above the US territory until it was shot down by a fighter jet, an episode that further chilled US-China relations.