The diplomats “already met,” an anonymous Chinese Foreign Ministry official told the Japan Times, though Vietnamese officials have not provided a reason explaining why the meeting was canceled.
Beijing and Hanoi recently disputed an oil field located in “Block 136-03” in the South China Sea, with Beijing reportedly vowing to attack Vietnamese bases in the Spratly Islands for sending ships to the area for oil exploration. Repsol, a Spanish-owned oil firm, leased rights to the area under dispute from Hanoi and has invested $300 million making it a commercially-viable asset.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had taken “practical actions” to maintain the status quo in the South China Sea. Approximately $5 trillion worth of goods transit the waterway annually.