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Obama signs bill to delete 'Oriental'

(China Daily USA) Updated: 2016-05-21 04:51

President Barack Obama on Friday signed legislation that removes the term "Oriental" from federal law.

The bipartisan bill, which Obama signed during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, will eliminate all references to "Oriental" – which still appear in Title 42 of the US Code – and replace the word with "Asian Americans."

"The term 'Oriental' has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good," said US Representative Grace Meng, a Democrat from New York, who sponsored the legislation in the House of Representatives.

"No longer will any law of the United States refer to Asian Americans in such an offensive way," she said in a statement.

US Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Democrat from Hawaii, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, said, "I'm proud to have seen this effort through. Mahalo to President Obama for his quick action."

"Nobody, let alone the federal government, should use a hurtful term like 'Orientals' when referring to Americans of Asian descent," said Representative Ed Royce, a Republican from California, and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and an original co-sponsor of Meng's bill.

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