NBCU Photo Bank via AP, Douglas Gorenstein/NBC
In this image released by NBC, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, left, appears with host Jimmy Fallon during a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in New York.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Carly Fiorina says she would cancel an upcoming state dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng).

Speaking at a national security forum Tuesday in the early voting state of South Carolina, Fiorina said she would still meet privately with Jinping but treat the Asian power with a firm hand.

President Barack Obama will welcome Xi to Washington for a state visit later this week.

Fiorina also said Obama has responded weakly to cybersecurity threats and China's military buildup in the South China Sea. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO also named Russia and Iran as aggressors that she would curtail.

As she looks to continue her climb up the polls, Fiorina is playing up her foreign affairs knowledge and experience as a technology executive.