Chinese military to issue new number plates in bid to curb abuse

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 April, 2013, 4:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am


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On May 1, the People’s Liberation Army will introduce new car number plates in an effort to quell rampant abuse of military vehicles.

The roll-out of new plates was announced during a video conference by the PLA’s General Staff Headquarters and other high-level military departments with state media on March 31, the PLA Daily said on Sunday confirming earlier rumours. 

General Zhao Keshi, head of the armed forces’ logistics department, said that he was “fully aware of the great importance of replacing military number plates,” to prevent "forgery, over-issuing, theft, arbitrary use, and loss.”

The new number plates, which replace those last issued in 2004, will employ six different technologies to prevent counterfeiting, including 3D-laser marks, the Beijing Times reported on Tuesday.

Luxury cars - cars with a price tag above 450,000 yuan (HK$563,000) - will no be issued the new military plates, the daily wrote quoting the head of the Transport Bureau of the PLA Air Force Logistics Department, Xiang Yang.

The move comes after Yu Jianrong, a scholar at the Academy of Social Sciences, launched a viral online campaign exposing luxury cars with military number plates. Some of these plates were later exposed as fake, while others were used privately by military staff. Military vehicles are exempt from road tolls in many places and are rarely inspected by police.

In February, photos of Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan using a luxury car with a PLA number plate in Beijing spread on Weibo. Chan, who is also a delegate to the country’s top advisory body, earlier claimed that the United States were ”the most corrupt country” in the world.

“Has our military hired Jackie Chan to teach soldiers martial arts?” Yu Jianrong wondered