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What did Joe Biden mean when he called India ‘xenophobic’?

In comments that could spell trouble for the United States, President Joe Biden called has India “xenophobic”, saying the country was struggling with its economy because of its ‘reluctance to accept immigrants’. Blaming “xenophobia” for the economic woes of India and other countries, Joe Biden said one of the reasons for America’s economy growth was immigration. Apart from India, Joe Biden also gave examples of economical struggles faced by China, Russia and Japan. “They are xenophobic,” he said.

“One of the reasons why our economy’s growing is because of you and many others. Why? Because we welcome immigrants,” Joe Biden said at a Washington fundraising event, adding, “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. Immigrants are what makes us strong,” Joe Biden said.


What does xenophobia mean exactly? In simpler terms, xenophobia means “fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign” you have come in contact with, according to Merriam-Webster.

The term “xenos” can be translated as either “stranger” or “guest,” and phobos, means “fear”.


With his remarks, Joe Biden implied that the robust economy of the US is attributable to how it has embraced immigrants, contrasting with economic challenges faced by countries like India, China, and Japan due to their “fear” of immigrants.

“They don’t want immigrants,” Joe Biden said.


While the comments were not politically correct, the US has definitely tried to tone it down, saying the comment meant that America was a nation of immigrants. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “The president was merely trying to send a broader message that “the United States is a nation of immigrants.”

It’s in our DNA,” he said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that the POTUS was making a “broader point” and respected its allies and partners.

“It relates to our relationship with our allies, that continues. Obviously, we have a strong relationship with India (and) with Japan. And the President, if you just look at the last three years, has certainly focused on those diplomatic relationships. He was talking about who we are as a country. He was talking about the importance of being in a country of immigrants, especially as you see the attacks that we have seen very recently, in the last couple of years, those attacks on immigrants, in particular,” the White House Press Secretary said.

Source: Mint