HAVANA, June 8 (AFP) - The Havana government on Thursday (Jun 8) denied United States news reports that it has reached a deal for China to set up a spying base in Cuba, just off American shores.

Cuba's deputy foreign minister said the reports by The Wall Street Journal and CNN were "mendacious and unfounded". The White House called them inaccurate.

The reports said Beijing and Havana have entered into a secret agreement for a Chinese electronic eavesdropping facility to be set up on the Caribbean island that could monitor communications across the southeastern US.

The region includes the US Southern and Central Command headquarters, both in Florida.

China will pay Cuba "several billion dollars" to be able to construct the facility, the Journal said, citing unnamed US officials.

But Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, reading a statement to journalists, called the reports "totally mendacious and unfounded".

He said Cuba rejects all foreign military presence in Latin America, "including the many US bases and troops".

"Slander of this kind is often fabricated by US officials," the official said.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby characterised the Journal story as inaccurate.

"I've seen that press report. It's not accurate," Kirby told MSNBC.

"What I can tell you is that we have been concerned since day one of this administration about China's influence activities around the world, certainly in this hemisphere and in this region," Kirby said.

"We are watching this very closely," he added.

Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder also called the Journal report inaccurate.

"We are not aware of China and Cuba developing any type of spy station," Ryder said, adding: "The relationship that those two countries share is something that we continuously monitor."