Orient or East

What is the exact difference between the words ‘oriental’ and ‘eastern’? Can they be used in the same context? Could you possibly provide some more examples to demonstrate their difference? thank you all.

They can mean the same thing, but “Orient” does not cover the entire East. The Orient is East Asia. Africa, for example, is considered the East. So is the Middle East. Neither is the Orient, however. China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, etc., are the Orient. “Orient” is an increasingly rare word these days. You are far likelier to encounter “Asia” as a reference to the Orient and something more specific to refer to the rest of Asia.

Many expect the Eastern economies to lead the world in the future.
The world’s poorest countries are predominantly located in the East.
Some say Congo’s humanitarian crisis is the worst in the East.
On his last trip, John took an interest in Oriental culture.

Thank you Mordant for your detailed answer. This is indeed very helpful.

“around the turn of the seventh century”
What does ‘the turn of the century’ suggest?

It means the period of transition from one century to the next.

Thank you very much again.