PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 3:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 3:32pm

Xi Jinping's 'emotional intelligence' comments spark debate


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

It’s not your educational background, integrity, experience, or people you know that matters. What it takes to be a good communist leader is “emotional intelligence”, or EQ, says Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

Xi enlightened his audience during a  recent visit to a job fair in Tianjin while talking to a local village official.

"Intelligence quotient and emotional quotient - which is more important?,” he asked.

After an official said “both”, Xi answered his own question,

“EQ is important for adapting to society, although it should be used together with professional knowledge and techniques,"  he said.

His talk sparked a flurry of media reports and analysis.

Study Times, a publication of Central Party School of the Communist Party of China, published a 3,000-word article headlined Emotional Quotient and its three major components.

The author explained that in the wake of Xi’s talk, there has been renewed enthusiasm about “EQ” , which called for an in-depth piece on the topic.

But it looks like not everyone agrees.

“It’s exactly the opposite kind of leader we need,” aruged a micro-blogger on Weibo, “ Those who stick to rules and don’t bend regulations to benefit themselves.”

"What China needs most is rule of law," wrote another, "definitely not EQ."




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