Netizens in New Delhi, Beijing furious after Trump calls air in India and China 'filthy' - GulfToday

Netizens in New Delhi, Beijing furious after Trump calls air in India and China 'filthy'


Traffic moves on a smoggy morning in New Delhi on Friday. Reuters

US President Donald Trump on Thursday described the air in India and China as "filthy" as he denounced Democratic rival Joe Biden's plans to tackle climate change.


At their second and final presidential debate, Trump renewed his criticism that action on climate change was unfair to the United States.


"Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia, look at India - it's filthy. The air is filthy," Trump said at the debate in Nashville.


On Friday, air pollution in New Delhi and surrounding cities was at its worst in eight months, with the air quality index surging above 300 on a scale of 500, indicating "emergency conditions."


Trump referred to India to defend his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, said one environmental expert.


"Trump's commentary on India's air in the backdrop of his justification from withdrawing from the Paris pact is unfortunate and juvenile," said Vimlendu Jha, the founder of an activist group, Swechha.

"America is historically the largest emitter in the world and currently the second largest one," he added.


Trump was correct, said Kapil Mishra, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).


"Trump is right," Mishra said on Twitter.


"Our air quality is actually filthy. In Delhi, we are breathing poison. Time for all of us to come together and deal with the real reasons."


Modi's party is not in power in New Delhi, which is ruled by the Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party, officials of which have often sparred with BJP functionaries over blame for the poor quality of air in New Delhi.


China's foreign ministry on Friday said Beijing hoped the US would "stop dragging China into its election campaigns."


Defending the capital's air quality, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters "the sky outside is azure today."


In a 2017 interview Trump had complained that China, India, Russia and other countries were paying too little to help poorer countries battle climate change under the Paris accord's Green Climate Fund.


"It’s not a fair situation because they are paying virtually nothing and we are paying massive amounts of money," he said at the time.



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