Can describe EITHER people or things as being from Asia. Many Americans will heatedly argue that only objects are oriental, and to call a person an oriental is now considered racist. They tell you to call them Asian or, if applicable, Asian American. But what most Americans don't know is that in the UK a person from East Asia is considered oriental, and South Asians are the ones designated as Asian. It's a relative term.
UK Person: Look at those Oriental people over there.
US Person: You shouldn't call them Oriental. You should call them Asian.
UK Person: But they're Japanese. They aren't Indian. They're Oriental.
US Person: Rugs are Oriental. People are not.
UK Person: YOU are a rug. Learn more about the English language outside of your stupid country.