China slammed the Trump administration's announcement that it planned to pull out a Reagan-era anti-missile treaty, saying on Monday that the move was being done to counter Beijing, not Moscow, as the White House has claimed.

“I want to stress that it is completely wrong to use China as an excuse for pulling out of the treaty,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Monday in Beijing. “We hope relevant countries can cherish the hard-won achievements over the years, prudently and properly handle issues related to the treaty through dialogue and consultation, and think twice about withdrawing from the treaty.”

President Trump said this weekend he wants to pull the U.S. out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which covers land-based, mid-range missiles. The administration alleges that Russia has been violating the terms of the deal by developing new cruise missiles. A New York Times report citing anonymous administration sources said the move was being done to allow the U.S. to counter China's efforts to build up arms in the Pacific.

U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said Saturday that it would back the U.S. on the matter. "We will be absolutely resolute with the United States in hammering home a clear message that Russia needs to respect the treaty obligation that it signed."