China cop promoted for breastfeeding quake babies

BEIJING Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:25am BST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese policewoman who breastfed babies orphaned during last month's earthquake has been given a better job, prompting online protests that promotions should be awarded on merit, not merely for good deeds.

Jiang Xiaojuan, 30, left her own baby with her parents and took part in the disaster relief work, breastfeeding nine babies, earning her the nickname of "the police mum" in the press.

She has since been awarded titles of "hero and model police officer" and "excellent member of the Communist Party," was appointed to the Communist Party of China Committee of the Jiangyou Public Security Bureau and became the bureau's vice commissar, Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

Jiangyou, population 850,000, is a city near the epicenter of the May 12 Sichuan quake which killed more than 69,000 people with thousands still missing.

"Many people voiced objections when the Jiangyou government sought public opinion after making the promotion," Xinhua said. "They said an official position should not be used to promote a moral model."

There were also supporters of Jiang's promotion, saying that what she did showed she was a good public servant. (Reporting by Nick Macfie; Editing by Valerie Lee)

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