Biden Calls Allies India, Japan 'Xenophobic'

Biden Calls Allies India, Japan 'Xenophobic'
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The Facts

  • At a Washington fundraiser on Wednesday, Pres. Joe Biden called key US allies India and Japan "xenophobic," alongside adversaries Russia and China, arguing New Delhi and Tokyo have been struggling economically because "they don't want immigrants."

  • Speaking at an event that marked the start of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Biden said the US economy continues to grow partly because "we welcome immigrants," who he asserted make the country "strong."


The Spin

Narrative A

Washington's relationship with its Asian allies is both important and enduring. The US president was simply making a broader point about the country's immigration policy. He meant no offense to India or Japan, as they share the same commitment to democracy, freedom, and dignity as America.

Narrative B

Grouping key allies, particularly when it comes to combating China, with longtime adversaries is irrational, especially when the US has its own problems with xenophobia. It's patronizing to disrespect India — the fastest-growing major economy in the world — and Japan — the first Asian country to achieve the developed economy label.


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