'First Of All, Our Economy Is Not Faltering': EAM Jaishankar's Reaction On President Biden's 'Xenophobia' Remark

Rejecting Biden's remarks on India's economy, EAM Jaishankar highlighted that India has been the fastest-growing major economy in the world for the last few years, while also becoming the fifth-largest global economy last year. Moreover, Jaishankar cited the Modi government's plan to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a symbol of India's welcoming approach.

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar Photo: PTI

A day after US President Joe Biden's remarks on India, Japan and China being 'xenophobic' as they do not welcome immigrants, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday rejected the remarks.

In an interview with The Economic Times, EAM Jaishankar asserted that India instead has always been open and welcoming to people from diverse societies.

What did President Biden say?

On May 2, while campaigning for his re-election for the US Presidency at a fundraising event in Washington, US President Biden had said "You know, one of the reasons why our economy is growing is because of you and many others. Why? Because we welcome immigrants. We look to the reason (behind this)...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."

In his remarks, the US president also alleged that India's economy was faltering and not doing well, while the US economy was growing. Rejecting President Biden's claims, Mr Jaishankar made it clear, "First of all, our economy is not faltering."

What all did EAM Jaishankar say?

Rejecting Biden's remarks on India's economy, EAM Jaishankar highlighted that India has been the fastest-growing major economy in the world for the last few years, while also becoming the fifth-largest global economy last year.

Furthermore, responding to the "xenophobia" remark, Mr Jaishankar said, "India has always 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."

Citing an example of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he highlighted how the government spearheaded by PM Modi showcased India's welcoming approach.

"That's why we have the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), which is to open up doors for people who are in trouble... I think we should be open to people who have the need to come to India, who have a claim to come to India," Mr Jaishankar said.

Mr Jaishankar also spoke about the narrative created by a section of the western media and backed it with an example of the ongoing protests at US universities.

Mr Jaishankar spoke about the ongoing anti-Israel protests in American university campuses and criticised a section of the Western media for its biased coverage, suggesting that it is "very ideological" and not at all "objective" reporting. He said that this section of media wants to shape the global narrative and has been targeting India as well.