President Trump’s top national security adviser dismissed Chinese criticism after the U.S. said it would exit a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia, following Tuesday meetings in Moscow.

White House national security adviser John Bolton announced a plan to terminate the treaty that bars the United States and Russia from deploying ground-based, intermediate-range nuclear weapons. The decision has drawn criticism internationally and mixed reviews in Congress. But while Bolton engaged most of those complaints substantively, he had a glib reply to a Chinese call for the United States to continue abiding by the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which China has not joined.

“China has issued a a statement that says it wants the United States to stay in the INF Treaty,” Bolton told reporters in Moscow. “And if I were living in Beijing, I'd probably think the same thing, but I'm not.”

Trump’s decision to exit the deal drew repeated criticism from Chinese officials, who told reporters that “unilaterally withdrawing from the treaty will cause many negative effects.” But Bolton noted that China has refused to join the treaty.

“That’s something that we thought of as far back as 2004 and some efforts were made to see if it might be possible to extend the treaty then; they all failed,” he said.

China rejected any responsibility for U.S. departure from the INF, while making clear that their own ballistic missile stockpiles won’t be constrained by such pacts.

“Shifting blame to others does not make any sense,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters. “China pursues a national defense policy which is defensive in nature and firmly safeguards its legitimate national and security interests. We will by no means accept any form of blackmail. I once again urge the U.S. to refrain from going against the trend of the times and think twice before taking any action on this issue.”

If China’s ballistic missile caches provided some of the motivation to exit the deal, Russian violations of the treaty remained the proximate cause, according to Bolton. “The problem is there are Russian INF-violate missiles in Europe now,” he told reporters. “The threat is not American withdrawal from the treaty. The threat is the Russian missiles already deployed.”

European officials cautioned Trump not to exit the deal, despite sharing U.S. worries about Russia’s violations of the treaty.

"The world doesn’t need a new arms race that would benefit no one and on the contrary would bring even more instability,” the European External Action Service said, according TASS.

Bolton said that the instability has arrived already. “It's important first to look at the reality that the treaty was outmoded, being violated, and being ignored by other countries,” he said. "So under that view exactly one country was constrained by the INF Treaty, the United States.”