Chinese and Russian warships concluded an ammunition drill on Thursday, marking a successful end to the live sea exercise, both countries' drill directors said.
Vice-Admiral Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, said the two navies accomplished all of the goals of the exercises, with excellent results. The drills began on April 22, and will conclude on Friday.
Six warships, including the Chinese navy's missile destroyer Harbin and the Slava-class guided missile cruiser Varyag, the flagship of the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet, met near Qingdao, Shandong province, in the Yellow Sea and fired hundreds of shells at surface, underwater and air targets.
The two sides also had a fleet review on Thursday afternoon, involving 19 warships and 19 aircraft.
"It's not easy for both sides to conduct a live-fire confrontation drill under such a tight schedule, especially when there is strong fog and wind," Ding said at a news conference. "But both navies devoted the most advanced vessels, submarines and aircraft, as well as proficient information command technologies."
"Only countries that are highly friendly and trustworthy to each other would like to do conduct such as confrontation drill," The Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po newspaper said.
Russian Naval Deputy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Leonid Sukhanov said China and Russia improved their coordination and cooperation ability to uphold both sides' maritime safety. The Russian and Chinese navies, which have participated in escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, conducted operations on Wednesday such as rescuing hijacked vessels.
"It's not aimed at any third parties, but to enhance regional peace and stability, and especially to safeguard both sides' transport routes and economic interests," he said.
The live naval exercise between Russia and China, which was agreed to last year, is not related to the current regional situation, China's National Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on Wednesday.
"The joint military exercise is being conducted without an imaginary enemy, and it fully reflects the new form of the relationship between the nations, which is no alliance, no conflict and no moves against any third country," the spokesman said.
The Chinese and Russian navies have maintained long-term friendly exchanges, but will not form an alliance, Sukhanov said.
The speculation from other groups over the China-Russia alliance is aimed at obstructing enhanced ties between the countries, Jin Yinan, a professor at the PLA National Defense University, told Chinese media.
The PLA Daily said on Thursday that a military alliance based on a Cold War mentality is against the China-Russia strategic partnership.
"China pursues unswervingly an independent foreign policy of peace, and would not join any alliances or military blocs to engage in military competition, expansion and hegemony."
Chinese and Russian navies have reached a consensus about relations and further cooperation, and would discuss the possibility of making the joint drill a regular part of military cooperation between the two countries, Ding said.
China and Russia have great cooperation potential in escorting ships and regular joint drills, said Zhang Junshe, deputy director of Naval Military Studies Research Institute.