Politically correct, or culturally correct? Just last week I learned that I should refer to folks from China, Korea, etc. as "Asian" rather than "Oriental". I remember from years ago, a friend & business partner who grew up in Xi'an mentioned something about it, but I didn't understand at the time that he was making a distinction between "Oriental" and "Asian", nor that the label "Oriental" might be distasteful to Asians.
I started thinking about it, and it makes perfect sense--after all why would Asians be the orientals? Would not Americans, Europeans or Africans be orientals to the Asians? For an Asian to call himself an "oriental", he would be using European or American standards to label himself, which would be inherently self-subordinating. I ran this by some academic friends, and surprisingly, they couldn't fathom the concept that "Western" standards might not be universal standards. I'm trying to remember to use the term "Asian", but find that I keep backsliding. (I suppose habit often trumps knowledge.)