Jiang Xiaojuan, a policewoman who was well-known to the Chinese public for feeding infants with breast milk after the May 12 quake, has been officially promoted to a ranking post at a local police bureau, despite a nationwide controversy about the promotion.
Jiang was appointed a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Committee of the Jiangyou Public Security Bureau and the bureau's vice commissar on Thursday, an official surnamed Su from the organization department of the Jiangyou CPC Committee, Sichuan Province, told Xinhua on Saturday.
Jiang was currently on a speaking tour and would assume office as soon as she returned to Jiangyou, said the official.
Su denied media reports that the promotion had been suspended because of controversy.
Many people voiced objections when the Jiangyou government sought public opinion after making the promotion. They said an official position should not be used to promote a moral model.
"Such a promotion would fuel speculation activities," wrote a netizen dubbed "West Line" at the leading online forum forum.xinhuanet.com, while another netizen said promotion should depend on one's competence.
There were also many supporters of Jiang's promotion, saying that what she did showed she is a good public servant.
Su, the Jiangyou official, applauded the debate, saying "it shows the public are concerned on promotions of government officials and their enthusiasm for politics."
However, he said "we have gone through due procedures and believe she is qualified for her new post."
Jiang, 30, a mother of a six-month old, left her own baby with her parents and took part in the disaster relief work after the Sichuan quake.
Moved by the plight of babies separated from their mothers, she ended up breast-feeding nine of them. The pictures of her breast feeding spread across the country, which earned her a nickname "the police mum."
She has since been awarded laudatory titles of "hero and model police officer" and "excellent member of the Communist Party" by the Ministry of Public Security and the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.
(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2008)