'Not how you talk about friends', says Joe Biden on Donald Trump's 'India's air filthy' remark

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Former US vice president and Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden on Saturday slammed President Donald Trump for his comment on India’s air pollution. Biden said that he and his running mate Kamala Harris deeply value America’s partnership with India.

Deeply value partnership with India, says Biden

“President Trump called India 'filthy'. It's not how you talk about friends and it's not how you solve global challenges like climate change,” Biden said in a tweet, two days after Trump during a presidential debate accused China, India and Russia of not taking care of their "filthy" air.

President Trump called India "filthy."

It's not how you talk about friends—and it's not how you solve global challenges like climate change.@KamalaHarris and I deeply value our partnership—and will put respect back at the center of our foreign policy. https://t.co/TKcyZiNwY6

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 24, 2020

Earlier on Thursday, Donald Trump had said, “Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy". Trump had made the remark during the final presidential debate with Biden in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Kamala Harris and I deeply value our partnership and will put respect back at the centre of our foreign policy,” Biden said in a tweet Saturday as he retweeted his op-ed in the latest issue of ethnic India West weekly.

Biden's pitch for India-US partnership

“The Obama-Biden years were some of the best we've ever had between our two countries. A Biden-Harris administration will build on that great progress and do even more. We can and should be natural allies,” Biden wrote in the op-ed.

“That’s why if elected President, I will continue what I have long called for: The US and India will stand together against terrorism in all its forms and work together to promote a region of peace and stability where neither China nor any other country threatens its neighbours,” he said in op-ed.

“We’ll open markets and grow the middle class in both the United States and India, and confront other international challenges together, like climate change, global health, transnational terrorism and nuclear proliferation,” said Biden.

Biden has best understanding of our community, say Indian-Americans

The Indian-American community in the US has said that Joe Biden has a 'deep connection' with them.

"Biden celebrated Diwali with (former) president Obama in the White House and at his residence. The former vice president has a deep connection with Indo-American community and India. Biden understands the values of Indo Americans. In his recent Op-ed he shares how he felt deeply connected to the Indian community and the values of the Indian community," news agency PTI quoted Ajay Jain Bhutoria, a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur.

Referring to the final presidential debate between Trump and Biden on Friday, Bhutoria said that the president criticised India on the world stage.

“The community understands who the real friend of India is, who the foe. Trump is a foe. Most recently on the debate stage saying- you cannot trust India's Covid-19 numbers and India is filthy. He has suspended the H1 Visa Programme, put trade deals with India in jeopardy, and has used (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's friendship for photo opportunities only,” he alleged, as per PTI.

Aditi Pal with Desi Blue, a group of South Asian Americans, said that the community has always known Biden as a friend of India.

“Seven years ago, as vice president, he told business leaders in Mumbai that the US-India partnership was the defining relationship of the 21st Century. As a Senator, he was instrumental in the passing of India's Civil Nuclear Deal. And it was during Obama-Biden administration that the two countries saw their best years for the Indo-US relationship. Joe's choice of Kamala Harris also gave us immigrants from India a sense of pride,” Pal told PTI.

According to Ashok Bhatt, businessman and former California Water commissioner, Obama-Biden administration Democrats gave India priority. "When Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, Obama-Biden welcomed him and opened up economic areas and visas to students and tourists. H1 visas became so liberal and India benefitted the most from it," he told PTI.

“I believe the Biden-Kamala team will be great for Indo-American relationships and the economy of both countries will be flourishing,” Bhatt said, as per PTI.

(With inputs from PTI)

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