After China’s online community posted startling photos of luxury cars bearing military licence plates - flouting new restrictions that came into effect on Wednesday, China’s nationalist tabloid newspaper The Global Times promptly fired back against what it called “excessive” supervision.
The editorial entitled “military cars should get used to excessive supervision” pubished on Thursday argued that netizens with an ”idealistic and extreme attitude only exacerbate resentment.” Instead, it said, people should face reality and understand the complicated nature of the society.
If not anything else, the editorial surely got the newspaper its own share of “resentment.” By Friday morning, the story was reposted thousands of times on China’s social media and drew an outpouring of criticism.
“Who’s entitled to say if it’s excessive? ”said Cao Lin, a Beijing journalist, “In a country ruled by law, only the law can judge if any action is excessive.”
“Does it mean ‘tolerable corruption’ is OK, but not ‘excessive supervision’? ” said another netizen in an ironic manner.
The Global Times had claimed in an 2012 editorial that “since no country can completely kill corruption, a realistic aim for China is to 'keep it under control'.”
Meanwhile, new photos of luxury cars bearing military licence plates were being posted on Weibo, attracting angry comments from netizens.
President Xi Jinping has urged the military to be more disciplined and improve its public image. In a recent editorial, the People’s Liberation Army Daily - the PLA's own mouthpiece - said issuing new licence plates would symbolise a “new start” for the military's public image.