From the perspective of the United States and most of its allies, China is a systemic rival that undermines the stability of the rules-based order through its hegemonic ambitions and disregard for democracy and human rights.

But in much of the rest of the world, China is looked at as a valuable economic partner and a possible geopolitical alternative – or counterbalance – to the U.S. and Europe, according to a study released Thursday by the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) that analyzed global views on China and Sino-U.S. relations.

“For many E.U. capitals, systemic rivalry is becoming the dominant framework through which decision-makers look at relations with China, but this view is not fully shared even within the E.U., and it is certainly not universal at the global level,” said Helena Legarda, a MERICS analyst on Chinese foreign and defense policies and one of the editors of the study.