Violations of New Chinese Military License Plate Regulations


Over the past few days, China’s military has replaced all of their previous white-colored military plates with new military plates that no longer have a Chinese character prefix and only Roman letter prefixes. This was widely reported throughout the Chinese media (sample television news report). Part of the stated reason behind this is to combat waste and corruption in the military but also to make it easier to identify private civilians using fake military license plates on their cars (because military vehicles are exempt from normal traffic laws and traffic police jurisdiction) “giving the military a bad reputation” with the public.

The following translated reports are from some of the most popular and actively discussed articles and reports on the Chinese internet…

On NetEase:

Internet Exposes Luxury Car with New Military Plates in Violation of Regulations on Beijing Streets

“Yet another luxury car with military license plates?” @主持人晓婷: I haven’t remembered incorrectly, have I? Starting from today, cars 450,000 RMB and up are without exception forbidden from having military plates, yet the moment I go out, I see this. @平安北京 [the Beijing Police official microblog account], wasn’t it said that this kind of car is definitely fake [using fake military license plates]? Regardless of whether or not it is real or fake, on the very first day the new regulations are implemented, it spits in the face of the law, too utterly contemptuous [of the law]!


The person in charge of the General Logistics Division Transportation Department [of China’s military] has claimed that to combat the phenomenon of high-end luxury cars hanging military license plates, clear and obvious high-end luxury vehicles such as Mercedes Benzes, BMWs, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Volkswagen Phaetons, Bentleys, Jaguars, Porsches, or cars in excess of 3.0 liters of displacement and with prices over 450,000 yuan, as well Land Rovers, Porsche Cayennes, Audi Q7s, and similar SUVs are without exception not to be allowed to use the new military license plates.

Comments on Sina Weibo:


Purchased before the regulations took effect.


In the People’s Republic of China, government officials’ powers are greater than all laws, but the law is greater than everything for the ordinary Chinese citizens~~ So, you have to get used to it.


This car probably isn’t 450,000 RMB…


449,900 yuan.


I want to see how long this microblog post of Xiao Ting’s is going to last [before being censored].


Leaving my name before this gets harmonized.


Touareg retail price: 645,000 – 1,180,000 RMB. However there is a problem, the regulations say [military plates] can’t be used on cars over 450,000 yuan, and the Toureg is not a car, so it seems to be within regulations!


President Xi should issue a decree that the cars of those who are caught violating the military plates regulation shall without exception be given to the person who first catches them.


I saw several cars like this in Guangzhou too.


The system is determined by people, and is implemented by people as well.


Comments on NetEase:

candtrae [网易加拿大网友]: 2013-05-02 05:23:06 发表

Some blind people often say netizens complaining are tantamount to cursing the country, but only after going abroad did I know that netizens complaining is the fundamental force for advancing society, harmony, and development. Here the government departments are already considerably respectful of the people, where government officials like provincial governors and city majors all drive their own private cars to work every day, because the country does not give provincial governors and city mayors publicly paid for transportation. However, even though it is like this, the netizens here are also quite unsatisfied with those government officials, cursing all the way from the Toronto mayor to Ontario’s governor, from the provincial governor to Canada’s prime minister. Last year, Toronto’s mayor was criticized by a netizen so badly for merely a 3150 CAD donation that he was removed from office by the courts is just one such example, so should the government here denounce netizens as being unpatriotic? Are the netizens here not supposed to express opposing views and supervise their policymakers? The Canadian government knows fully well that it is the collective Canadian taxpayers who support the government, and every single person has the right to point out the government administration’s faults and inadequacies. What we criticize is the government and not the country. Such a simple concept and those blind people don’t understand it.

kyoxmong [网易美国网友]:

I want to know, when are they going to make their finances/assets public?

热爱祖国00112 [网易北京市网友]: (responding to above)

Military cars are a little better [compared to other government official’s cars], not much cause for criticism, their performance needs to be good. Look at the American military, all Hummers, how come no one criticism that?

kyoxmong [网易美国网友]: (responding to above)

In all my years in the United States, I’ve never seen the American military drive Hummers on the streets.

candtrae [网易加拿大网友]:

This is a post/comment I posted on April 28th Toronto time, [showing that I] long predicted this.
“Those cars are prohibited from having military plates? Benzes, BMWs, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Volkswagen Phaetons, Bentleys, Jaguars, Porsches, or cars in excess of 3.0 liters of displacement and with prices over 450,000 yuan, as well Land Rovers, Porsche Cayennes, Audi Q7s, and similar SUVs are without exception not to be allowed to use the new military license plates. According to People’s Liberation Army Newspaper
So these are the luxury cars that you people have been driving around normally? Brother [referring to self] is reminded of Uncle Zhao‘s classic joke: “Xiao Yang, you think just because you’ve changed clothes that I won’t recognize you?” Will simply changing plates increase supervision? Guard against [corruption, misuse]? That luxury cars can no longer be purchased? Isn’t this just deceiving oneself? “Sunlight [making public] is the key weapon for sweeping out corruption”. Without dealing with the fundamental system, without placing power under the sun [in the public eye], without restricting or eliminating military car privileges, without bestowing extensive powers of supervision upon the masses and media, and only making superficial changes, it can only be a change in form but not substance. No matter how many disguises you give military cars, it’s nothing more than setting up for future corruption!


The military has so much money it can’t use it all, so if you don’t let them buy luxury cars, how are they supposed to spend that money?

网易甘肃省张掖市手机网友: (responding to above)


mydream0519 [网易上海市金山区网友]: (responding to above)

North Korea is the same —- a military-first government.

whldfg [网易湖北省武汉市手机网友]:

A Touareg isn’t a car, it’s an SUV! Neither is it a Land Rover, Cayenne, or Audi SUV. Read carefully! It having a military plate is not a violation of regulations at all.

天上掉美刀 [网易北京市手机网友]: (responding to above)

The article says cars over 450,000… how did you read the news?


On NetEase & Sohu:

Beijing Military District: Previously Purchased Luxury Cars Can Continue to be Used With Restrictions

Today, a netizen exposed a Volkswagen Touareg with new version military license plates driving on the 106 national highway in a set of photos, claiming that this car is violating the regulation that high-end luxury cars are without exception not allowed to use the new military plates.

This website’s [] reporter immediately contacted the Beijing Military District Joint Logistics Division Transportation Department seeking confirmation and this department’s person in charge says the Volkswagen Touareg is not considered a Benz, BMW, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volkswagen Phaeton, Bentley, Jaguar, as well as Land Rover, Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, and similar clear and obvious high-end luxury vehicle according to the regulation, that Touaregs models have been given to military leaders previously which they continue to use now. As for cars exceeding exceeding the 450,000 RMB price, they will no longer be providing [such cars] from this day forward, and those that have been previously used will continue to be used with restrictions to avoid waste. This Beijing Military District Joint Logistics Division Transportation Department representative also said that he wishes to use this post/article in the China Military Website Beijing Military District Section to make this statement of clarification and at the same time welcomes netizens to actively supervise [the military].

Comments on NetEase:

党都党不住 [网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市网友]:

Very good, the ordinary common people already have nothing to say!

虎头山虎哥 [网易安徽省阜阳市网友]:

“…the Volkswagen Touareg is not considered a Benz, BMW, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volkswagen Phaeton, Bentley, Jaguar, as well as Land Rover, Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, and similar clear and obvious high-end luxury vehicle according to the regulation.”

Just don’t choose these brands in the future and however expensive won’t matter.


Indeed there is no problem. First, it isn’t a car, so it isn’t subject to the 450,000 price limit; Second, it isn’t one of the listed SUVs.
I’ve even seen a Volvo XC90, which also fucking complies with standards.

顶一下死一窝龟龟 [网易广东省广州市网友]:

Even if they don’t use military plates and traffic police stop them, they can just flash their military officer identification and the traffic officer has to obediently let them go.

中國國民黨蔣中正 [网易浙江省杭州市网友]:

The moment you say it isn’t true, I know what’s going on. Bet you have very powerful connections.


Comments on Sohu:


“Leader, look, these sea cucumbers, abalone, and shark fin have all been prepared already, to not eat them would be a waste!”
“Alright then, not eating them would be a waste indeed, but, this can’t happen again.”
Hehe, and so, a sumptuous feast continued.


On May 1st, the military replaced their license plates with new ones: The first letter is an abbreviation designating the various military districts and military branches; The second letter is organized by the English alphabet: A for military headquarters, B for the military political division, C for the logistics division, D for the equipment division… The Jinan Military District Political Division complained to their superiors, under this arrangement, their license plates would be JB *****, requesting that it be changed. Headquarters responded: Even the SB Shenyang Military District Political Division didn’t complain, only you are JB making a fuss!


The military explains that those cars in violation of regulations with the new military plates are those that remain from before, and that they can continue to be used with restrictions in order to avoid waste. I think this is inappropriate, because luxury cars are luxury cars no matter what, even if the ordinary common people do not recognize what year this car model is. I suggest a plan for resolving this: Take them all out and publicly auction them off in society, with the funds to augment military expenditures, such as buying some more helicopters or flying some more training sessions, that would be useful for the next disaster relief. Those who agree please reshare.


I can’t believe it, if they’re going to say this, then all of the luxury cars with military plates that appear in the future can be explained this way. China…


People stopped trusting the things this organization says long ago.


To avoid waste,
all the luxury cars given in the past can continue to be used,
all the wild animals in the past can continue to be eaten,
all the corrupt government officials in the past can continue to be officials,
all the corrupt in the past can continue in their corruption,
all the old and worn out shoes in the past can continue to be worn,
all the past… can continue.


Guizhou Maotai is currently experiencing poor sales, so to avoid waste, the military better continue drinking it.


The military says if they don’t use this luxury car, then it would be a waste, but what they don’t know is that this is precisely wasting the entire country’s citizens’ trust in the implmentation of central policy, and it is this that is the biggest waste.



Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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