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Biden refers to Asia as ‘the Orient’

Vice President Biden on Wednesday referred to parts of Asia as “the Orient” during a speech in Iowa, only hours after apologizing for a separate gaffe.

Biden was telling a story about meeting with the former prime minister of Singapore.

{mosads}”You know on the way back from Mumbai to go meet with President Xi [Jinping] in China, I stopped in Singapore to meet with a guy named Lee Kuan Yew, who most foreign policy experts around the world say is the wisest man in the Orient,” Biden said.

The term “Orient” is considered by some an offensive way of describing Asia. Merriam-Webster describes it as an archaic term for the East. 

“He has spoken extensively on the future of China and India and Russia and the United States, and he is 94 years old,” said Biden of Lee.

In Biden’s story, the vice president asked what China is doing to consolidate its power. Lee replied that “they are in the United States of America right now looking for the very black box.”

The story is one that Biden has told dozens of times before, saying that the secret to America’s success is skepticism toward the accepted way of doing things and a constant stream of immigrants.

The vice president, who often misspeaks, apologized earlier Wednesday for using the term “shylocks” earlier this week. 

Biden called it a “poor choice of words” and said a top Jewish group was “right” to criticize him for the remark.

Republicans were quick to attack Biden.

In a tweet, the Republican National Committee said Biden’s “callous remarks are offensive to Asian-Americans & our Asian allies. His comments embarrass our country.”

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