As a general term, Asian refers to anything related to the continent of Asia, including Asian people.
The term was used in South Africa as a term of classification, to refer to all peoples in South Africa of Asian or Oriental extraction -i.e. from India, Pakistan, Japan, China, Korea etc.
Under Apartheid legislation, these people were classified as Non-European, hence not as citizens in the full sense, and subject to Apartheid laws and restrictions. The term itself was only used in the latter years of the Apartheid era, replacing the former term category of Indian, as more and more people from other countries also came to live and work in the country. The term is still in use in the country.
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