Biden calls his allies Japan and India, along with China and Russia, “xenophobic”

WASHINGTON – Japan and India are struggling economically because they are “xenophobic,” U.S. President Joe Biden said at a campaign rally, lumping U.S. allies with rivals China and Russia as countries that reject immigrants.

“Why is China stagnating so economically? Why is Japan in trouble? Why is Russia in trouble? And India? Because they are xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants,” Biden said on May 1, the transcript of which was not made public until May 2.

The 81-year-old Democrat, who is seeking re-election against his Republican rival Donald Trump in the November US presidential election, made the remarks at a campaign fundraising event in Washington that marked the start of the original presidential election. Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific. Islander Heritage Month.

These events are not filmed or recorded, but a small number of journalists attend them and report in writing.

“One of the reasons our economy is growing is thanks to you and many others. Because? Because we welcome immigrants,” said the American president.

While China and Russia are considered rivals of the United States, Biden’s comments about Japan and India came as a surprise.

Since taking office in 2021, Biden has worked to strengthen ties with US allies in Asia, particularly New Delhi and Tokyo.

He has hosted state dinners – a rare high-level diplomatic gesture – for both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The White House tried to downplay the US president’s statements on May 2.

“The broader point the president was making, and I think people around the world recognize it, is that the United States is a nation of immigrants, and it’s in our DNA,” the Security Council spokesman told reporters. National, John Kirby.

“Our allies know very well how much the President respects them, values ​​their friendship, values ​​their contributions,” he added. AFP