HONG KONG, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Despite the pressure from the United States, some European countries are still willing to continue to develop relations with China, the South China Morning Post quoted an expert as saying in a report this week.
"Countries such as Germany, France and Italy have relatively better relations and smooth cooperation with China. They are more willing to differentiate themselves from the influence of the United States to develop ties with China," Liu Weidong, a U.S. affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted in the report published on Tuesday.
"Even if individual European nations have conflicts with China in some aspects, they do not regard China as a ... rival," Liu said. "Europe and the U.S. have different assessments of China's international status and its development."
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian has said China and Europe are comprehensive strategic partners, not systemic rivals, and the United States was trying to create barriers between countries.
"As for the U.S. attempt to form small cliques against China with ideology as the yardstick, I'd like to say that China and Europe are two important forces in a multipolar world," Zhao said. "We believe the EU will continue to enhance strategic autonomy, and won't be hijacked by other country's wrong China policy."