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Biden courts controversy for describing India, China, Japan and Russia as 'Xenophobic'

US President highlights role of immigrants in fueling US economic growth, contrasting it with what he perceives as restrictive immigration policies of other nations

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- May 02nd 2024 03:20 PM -- Updated: May 02nd 2024 03:21 PM
Biden courts controversy for describing India, China, Japan and Russia as 'Xenophobic'

Biden courts controversy for describing India, China, Japan and Russia as 'Xenophobic'

PTC Web Desk: US President Joe Biden recently made remarks at a fundraising event that have stirred controversy, particularly in relation to India, China, Japan, and Russia. Joe Biden described these countries as "xenophobic" and claimed that their "economic growth is being hindered by such attitudes". 

During the event, US President Joe Biden highlighted the role of immigrants in fueling the United States' economic growth, contrasting it with what he perceives as the restrictive immigration policies of other nations. He singled out India, China, Japan and Russia, accusing them of harbouring xenophobic sentiments that inhibit their economic potential.


Biden's remarks have sparked a debate on the global stage, with reactions pouring in from various quarters. Some have criticised his characterisation of these countries, arguing that it oversimplifies complex issues surrounding immigration and economic growth. Others have echoed Biden's sentiments, pointing to the importance of inclusive immigration policies in fostering innovation and economic dynamism.


India, in particular, has been a focal point of the discussion due to its rapidly growing economy and large diaspora. Biden's suggestion that India's economic growth is hampered by xenophobia has raised eyebrows, especially considering the country's significant contributions to global trade and technology.

Critics of Biden's comments have highlighted India's history of welcoming immigrants and fostering a diverse cultural landscape. They argue that while India, like any other country, faces challenges related to immigration, describing it as xenophobic is unfair and unjustified.

On the other hand, some observers have pointed to instances of discrimination and prejudice within Indian society, particularly against certain minority groups and immigrants. They argue that addressing these issues is crucial for promoting social cohesion and inclusive economic development.

China, another country mentioned by Biden, has also faced scrutiny over its immigration policies and treatment of foreign workers. While China has seen significant economic growth in recent decades, questions remain about the inclusivity of its development model and the treatment of migrant workers from other countries.

Japan, known for its strict immigration policies and homogeneous society, has been criticised for its reluctance to embrace diversity and attract foreign talent. Despite being one of the world's largest economies, Japan has struggled with demographic challenges, including an aging population and labor shortages.

Russia, too, has faced criticism for its immigration policies and treatment of migrants, particularly from Central Asian countries. While Russia has historically been a destination for migrants from neighbouring countries, concerns have been raised about discrimination and xenophobia towards certain ethnic groups.

In response to the controversy, officials from the countries mentioned by Biden have pushed back against his characterisation, emphasising their commitment to promoting economic growth and welcoming immigrants. They have called for a more nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with immigration.

- With inputs from agencies

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