Duowei reported that it was not with a purpose that Fan Changlong, the First Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), cut short his visit to Vietnam in June.
Fan left Beijing on June 12 to visit Spain, the Netherlands, and Vietnam. China’s Ministry of Defense reported that Fan would attend the Forth Summit of the Sino-Vietnam Militaries. However, the Ministry of Defense later reported that “due to a work arrangement, China cancelled the Forth Summit of the Sino-Vietnam Militaries.”
Analysts think this is related to the sovereignty debate between China and Vietnam, related to the South China Sea, where both sides claim ownership. One version of the story was that Vietnam started exploration work on a gas field in the South China Sea during Fan’s visit. China was so irritated that it sent over forty military ships and sea patrol ships and several military transport aircraft, to stop Vietnam’s drilling operation.
Source: Duowei, June 28, 2017