News / Asia

Chinese Military Cracks Down on License Plate Abuse

Officers of China's navy pose for photographs with the new (L) and old military car licence plates, in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province Apr. 28, 2013.
Officers of China's navy pose for photographs with the new (L) and old military car licence plates, in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province Apr. 28, 2013.
Reuters
China's new leadership is seeking to dismantle a system of privilege which has allowed the drivers of military vehicles to do as they please on the roads.
 
On Sunday the Chinese military began replacing license plates on its cars and trucks to crack down on legions of vehicles, many of them plush luxury brands, which routinely break traffic laws and fill up with free gas.
 
The People's Liberation Army General Logistics Department began supervising the removal of current military license plates that will expire on Tuesday, the PLA Daily newspaper reported.
 
Luxury sedans and sport utility vehicles with PLA and People's Armed Police license plates gliding through red lights or flashing lights and sirens to push aside cars in front of them are a common sight in China.
 
Newly named President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission and thus the top military official, has tried to make fighting corruption a cornerstone of his administration, saying he will go after corrupt officials high and low.
 
Luxury German, American and Japanese cars and SUVs with military plates - often given to friends and family members as favors - are one of many manifestations of corruption in China that regularly irk ordinary citizens.
 
Family members of retired military officers and who have military plates have even claimed free gasoline.
 
Fighting Corruption
 
“Xi Jinping has a very strong sense of crisis,” said Hu Xingdou, a professor of economics at Beijing Institute of Technology and an anti-corruption researcher. “He has the lofty intention to use the iron fist of the state to fight corruption,” Hu said in a telephone interview.
 
“Of course the fight against corruption is like a violent storm, and the more you persist in going after something by putting your career on the line, the more you encounter resistance,” Hu said. “As for results, we will wait and see.”
 
A number of high-end auto brands will be banned from receiving the new military license plates, including sedans from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Porsche, Ford's Lincoln, General Motors' Cadillac, Volkswagen-owned Bentley and the Volkswagen Phaeton, Xinhua said.
 
Absent from Xinhua's published list were Audi sedans, the clear preference among Chinese officials with access to government cars.
 
Audi A7 SUVs however were listed as off-limits, along with Porsche Cayennes and other unspecified SUVs. Range Rover and Lexus SUVs with such plates are also common in Beijing.
 
Private and local government vehicles will also be ineligible for the plates, as well as any car costing more than 450,000 yuan (about $73,000), Xinhua said.
 
The policy will further decrease sales of foreign brands into Chinese government fleets. Beijing has moved to bar certain government agencies from buying foreign cars at all, potentially excluding global auto brands from a market of between 70 billion and 80 billion yuan ($11.1 billion to $12.7 billion).
 
The new licensing system is also meant to weed out fake military plates by using embedded electronic technology, the state-run news agency Xinhua said.
 
“The move is meant to crack down on the creation, sale and use of counterfeit military vehicle plates and root out loopholes in military vehicle management, so as to maintain social harmony, stability and the reputation of the military,” Xinhua quoted the PLA General Logistics Department as saying in a statement.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid