New military plates highlight anti-corruption Published: 2013-5-1 18:59:00

        Latest News

Touareg targeted for breaking military's new vehicle rule
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Beijing Military Region said on Thursday that a Volkswagen Touareg with a new military vehicle license plate spotted by a netizen in Beijing on Wednesday conforms to regulations that restrict luxury cars.

New military plates hit the road

Experts told the Global Times on Wednesday that tougher measures are still needed to combat the privileges enjoyed by military vehicles, following the adoption of new vehicle plates by the Chinese People's Liberation Army and armed police forces on May 1.

Military starts license plate revamp to curb misuse
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and armed police forces on Sunday moved to replace the current license plates to military vehicles with new ones, the PLA Daily reported.

New military plates to thwart corruption
The Ministry of National Defense will not issue special military plates for luxury vehicles when it rolls out its new plates on May 1.


Military to curb vehicle misuse with new license plates
China tightens military car plate approval
Military license plate reform

        New Plates


Crack down on the creation, sale and use of counterfeit military vehicle plates and root out loopholes in military vehicle management.

"It's like an electronic identity card. Drivers of luxury cars or lorries with fake military plates, who want to use the privilege of military plates or to avoid tolls, will be easily caught at electronic toll collection gates."

d High technology to make sure right uses

d Computerized supervision in progress

d A system to track lost or stolen plates 
h Luxury cars
hPrivate vehicles
hLocal government vehicles
hVehicles for local officials who hold concurrent positions in the PLA or the armed police forces
hVehicles fail to conform to CMC's requirements and fail to complete purchasing formalities 



Replacing plates is only a starting point for the military and government to curb corruption. Those who use military vehicles must follow the government's call to improve their work style, reduce extravagance and cultivate a more frugal and hard-working image.

The new policy is about more than just replacing license plates. It is intended to reduce abuses of power and the neglect of duty, as well as improve public trust in the military and maintain social harmony.

 Ren Jianmin, a public administration expert with Tsinghua University

"In the short term, some people will lose the opportunity of updating their plates to the latest version, but because they have connections, and desire the privileges that come with the plates, they will still try other means to get one in the long run."

"The privileges are left over by history, but as the social environment changes, they have become the source of corruption, and have triggered public dissatisfaction. Military cars should also pay the tolls, and then the spending can be included into their budgets. Drivers face the same punishment when breaking traffic rules. That's the spirit of building a country based on law, which promotes equality."

 Xiao Zhenbang, a retired official from the Chinese army

First and foremost, the license plates of military vehicles must be strictly regulated.  Second, military vehicles should be strictly controlled in certain routes to fight, drill or do rescue and relief work, and never be run or parked in non-military areas. Drivers of military vehicles should wear their uniform and carry military ID cards at all times. And military vehicles must have distinctive markings.

        Previous Plates

Military plates across the decades
First generation 
January 1951 – December 1955

Number plates are comprised of six digits.
Second generation
January 1956 – July 1984

Plates move to five digits, and Heavenly Stems (used as serial numbers) are brought in to distinguish between various military regions and sections.
Third generation
August 1984 – December 1992

Plates become made up of a prefix, prefix number, and a numeral. The prefix uses pinyin characters, prefix numbers use two digits, and numerals use four digits. 
Fourth generation
January 1993 – July 1997

The plate adds a space mark to the prefix, prefix number and numeral model. Heavenly Stems are used as prefix numbers, and this generation starts to apply anti-forgery technology. 
Fifth generation
August 1997 – November 2004

Capital letters are used as a prefix, and the plates use different colors in the front and at the back of a vehicle. The anti-forgery function becomes stronger, and an aluminum alloy is used to make the plates.

Sixth generation
December 2004 – April 2013

This generation applies advanced anti-forgery method which combines two-dimensional and three-dimensional techniques for the protective film.
For large vehicles

For small Vehicles
Seventh generation
May 2013

This latest innovation applies information, fluorescence, 3-D optics, laser mintmark, pattern embossing anti-forgery techniques, and brings in the ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) technique.

For large vehicles

For small Vehicles

Graphics: -

        Foreign Media Reports


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.

 The Economist 
It is a time of great change in the Chinese army, or at least China's Communist Party leader and commander-in-chief, Xi Jinping, is hoping so. 

 The Washington Post
License plates are the latest casualty in the highly publicized anti-corruption campaign of China's new leaders.
First the lavish government banquets were cut, then government officials' red-carpet receptions.

Now the target is military license plates — long-coveted items among government officials, allowing their owners to skirt traffic laws with impunity and skip toll fees.

        Related Reports

Military license plate crackdown 'too weak'

Caution, wannabe army drivers

Drive to rein in fake military vehicles

       News Vocab

公车私用 gōngchē sīyòng

misuse of government cars

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Posted in: Military

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