Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) said on Thursday that he did not stand up to Chinese President Xi Jinping over policies he objects to during their encounter two years ago because it would not have been appropriate.

Walker’s admission comes as he pressures President Obama to cancel his own huddle with Xi next month.


“Those are things governors should not be involved in,” Walker told reporters in response to questions about the meeting, according to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

“When [Wisconsin state officials] do trips to other places, we don’t talk about foreign policy,” he said of his 2013 trip to the communist nation.

“Those are the proper role of the federal government, the president, the State Department and others there,” added Walker, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, in comments in Iowa. “When we go abroad, we talk about trade-specific things. Governors are not there to do foreign policy.”

The Journal-Sentinel said on Thursday he traveled to China in 2013 as part of a trade delegation with Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa).

Branstad, a long-time confidant of Xi’s, introduced the Chinese leader to Walker during their visit, it added.

Walker previously urged Obama on Monday to rescind his invitation to Xi amid rising tensions between both of their governments.

“Rather than honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping with an official state visit next month, President Obama should focus on holding China accountable over its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests,” he said in a statement.

“Given China’s massive cyberattacks against America, its militarization of the South China Sea, continued state interference with its economy and persistent persecution of Christians and human rights activists, President Obama needs to cancel the state visit,” Walker added. “There’s serious work to be done rather than pomp and circumstance.”

Obama plans on addressing the sweeping hack on the Office of Personnel Management during his meeting with Xi in September.

The White House has attributed the data breach to China but has not yet publicly stated its position on retaliation.

Critics of China’s government are also pressuring Obama over Beijing’s recent currency manipulation and its human rights record.

Xi’s policies on those issue, detractors say, run counter to America’s interests at home and abroad.