State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan added a supplementary explanation the same day, saying Hu's words were directed at future Japanese leaders, meaning would-be prime ministers should not visit the shrine.
Why do high-ranking Chinese government officials make such peremptory remarks about Japan?
Hsu Se-kai, head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and a professor specializing in Japan-China affairs who formerly taught at a Japanese university, said China would never use the same language when speaking to the United States.
"Ethnocentrism could be behind such remarks." he said. "Chinese people believe China is the center of the world and look down on their neighbors. That's why they talk down to others."
"The recent visit to Beijing by the Japan-China friendship groups was seen [by many Chinese] as paying tribute to China," he said
"Chinese people who are convinced they are superior like to judge history from their historical perspective, but Japan ignores them. That's why they become increasingly uncompromising."Apr. 28, 2006