Monday, April 29, 2013

China Cracks Down On Military Plate Abuse

Thousands of Chinese have to say zai jian (good bye) to a cherished symbol of wealth and power: Their white military license plate. "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 road," writes Reuters. "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."

Don't think these "military vehicles" were all drab and green. Says Reuters:

"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."

Friends and family members received military plates as favors. This was exacerbated by a flood of fake military plates

This is about to change. The new plates are electronic ally encoded. The number of people entitled to use military plates will be drastically curtailed. White plates must be removed from luxury vehicles. Says China's state-controlled Xinhua News Service:

"Luxury vehicles were specified as those with the marks Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volkswagen Phaeton, Bentley, Jaguar, Porsche, and any car with an emission above 3.0 and priced over 450,000 yuan (72,990 U.S. dollars), as well as SUVs including Land Rover, Porsche Cayenne, and Audi Q7, among others."

Beijing had previously announced plans to stop government agencies from buying foreign cars. TTAC never took these plans seriously, and they were roundly ignored. The new plan seems to have more bite and less bark. One indication: "Absent from Xinhua's published list," says Reuters, "were Audi sedans, the clear preference among Chinese officials with access to government cars." By excluding Audi from the banned list, the Chinese government signals that this time, it means it.

from The Truth About Cars

Put the internet to work for you. via Personal Recipe 680102

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