India is a very open society, says Minister S Jaishankar in response to Joe Biden’s ‘xenophobic’ remark

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has reacted to US President Joe Biden’s ‘xenophobic’ remark and said India has always been open and welcoming to people from diverse societies.

Speaking to Economic Times, S Jaishankar said: "First of all, our economy is not faltering."
S Jaishankar reacts to Joe Biden’s ‘xenophobic’ remark. Photo Courtesy: S Jaishankar Instagram page

Speaking to Economic Times, S Jaishankar said: “First of all, our economy is not faltering.”

“India is always… India has been a very unique country… I would say actually, in the history of the world, that it’s been a society which has been very open… different people from different societies come to India,” he told the newspaper.

What did Joe Biden say?

Grouping together with countries like China and Russia, US President Joe Biden recently described Japan and India as ‘xenophobic’.

He made the comment just weeks after he called the US-Japan alliance “unbreakable”.

India is a key US partner.

“Why? Because we welcome immigrants,” he added. “Think about it. Why is China stalling so badly economically? Why is Japan having trouble? Why is Russia? Why is India? Because they’re xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants,” Biden was quoted as saying by BBC Asian-American audience while speaking at a campaign fundraising event on Wednesday (May 1, 2024).

Criticising the comments, Elbridge Colby, a former US deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Trump administration, posted on X: “Japan and India are two of our very stoutest and important allies. We should speak of them with respect, which they command and deserve.”

“Applying parochial progressive views to our allies is patronizing and foolish,” he said.

The White House, meanwhile, denied that the President made the remarks in a derogatory sense.

US national security spokesman John Kirby was quoted as saying by BBC: “Our allies and partners know well in tangible ways how President Biden values them, their friendship, their co-operation.”

Kirby said, “They understand how much he completely and utterly values the idea of alliances and partnerships.”