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:

READ  Police Who Help Up Unconscious Old Man Immediately Accused

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.

  • No biggie. Like designer handbags, they’re all shanzhai. Even if they are completely real, they exist in a society where other cars/handbags are designed to look like them.

    Harmony… re-established.

  • Sucks, but it makes sense in an odd way. Everything got grandfathered in, but going forward… in theory at least, it won’t be allowed. It’s kinda bullshit though. All those vehicles should be sold and disposed of. Replaced with domestic vehicles only. No JV, no foreign brands. Chinese brands only. No government plates for foreign cars. Period.

    • donscarletti

      Slap civilian plates on them then, that way, no PR problem, but colonel whoever still gets to drive his nice car.

  • fsck

    I don’t know about others, but I make a point to completely obstruct “white lisence plated” cars where ever I go. To the point of making them obviously drive out of the way, where ever I can. When ever I see one I go out of my way to make life as difficult as possible for the person driving that car.

    Fuck those people behind the wheel of those cars, always try to ruin their driving experience. They can hit me and I would still stand in front of them, they are only bullies that wouldnt dare. And yes, I’ve gone out of my way to be hit and/or force them into the path of oncoming cars.

    • Mighty

      Get them! Jiayiou, jiayiou!

      • fsck

        I’ve noticed that most of the people driving these cars are young girls (read, xiao sans) that have the white plate to protect their new porsche. I say “Fuck them”, lets see if you can really drive and protect your “investment” in that car.

        • Mighty

          Xiao sans or young girls with sugar daddys should be treated with respect. The same respect reserved for street hookers.

        • donscarletti

          Most i’ve seen around Zhongguancun are soldiers and NCOs out in uniform driving decade old Santanas and slightly newer BYDs, mostly northern military region 北, armed police WJ and Air Force 空, pretty much what you should expect from actual soldiers in the area. In other parts of Beijing, especially the east third ring, this is less the case.

    • Han is derived from Cain

      Japanese Unit 731 in Harbin? Chinese Documentary Exposes Mao-Era ‘Juvenile Auschwitz’

      “A survivor once told me, they were not humans during that time. “Their humanity was largely destroyed.” Xie worked with an investigative journalist to uncover the lost story of these children, and produced a new documentary called “Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao.” The children were ordered to do heavy farm work or other tasks that even adults would shun. Those that worked too slowly were whipped. But the worst part was the hunger. Starving children would steal out to nearby villages in search of food.

      However, many were not so lucky. Children caught stealing were often cruelly punished by villagers: their fingers were cut off, they were burnt, or hot chilli was applied to the genitals.

      If the days were nightmares, the nights were hell. For those who have not experienced Party-driven episodes like the Cultural Revolution, the political struggle sessions that characterized Mao Zedong’s era are inconceivable. Dabao girls invented torture methods to use against each other during these sessions, such as poking nipples with a needle, or scrubbing the vagina with a toothbrush. By 1961, when the children began to be released in batches, at least 2,600 of the original inmates had perished. Survivor Yan Jiasen said 12 children died in one day, and he himself was once thought dead–he was thrown into a pile of little corpses and spent a night there, unconscious.

      Together the two interviewed many people, from survivors, and local residents to labor camp wardens, and created the documentary titled “Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao.” The film debuted on May 1 in Hong Kong and Taiwan, along with another documentary, “Women Above Ghost’s Head,” about much more recent torture in a women’s labor camp in northeast China. “Juvenile Laborers Confined in Dabao” is scheduled to premiere in Switzerland and the United Kingdom in September.

      Appalling irresponsibility’: Chinese Researchers Mixing Bird Flu & Human Flu!

      The controversial study into viral mixing was carried out by a team led by Professor Hualan Chen, director of China’s National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute. Professor Chen and her colleagues deliberately mixed the H5N1 bird-flu virus, which is highly lethal but not easily transmitted between people, with a 2009 strain of H1N1 flu virus, which is very infectious to humans.

      Chinese are humans? I think not

    • Rainer

      Oh you always “stand in front of them….wherever you can”, instead of behind them when you’ll stand no chance even following, with your rotten unchecked used car only driven by peasant immigrants, as well as by foreign immigrants?
      “I go out of my way to make life as difficult as possible for the person driving that car… be hit and/or force them into the path of oncoming cars”….Read again what you did, I mean you could even screw them instead. But you show us the first destination you should be driving to is a psyco-clinic.

  • Boris

    Fucking cunts!

    • the ace of books

      …he announced.

  • Mighty

    Regardless of the letters designation on the plates they are all BS’s.

  • Hyphenated Beijinger

    Volkswagons and Toyotas are luxury cars? what?

    • Mighty

      That makes me own a luxury car in my Camry Hybrid.

      • James

        just think most jeeps are luxury cars

      • carmouflagger

        is it beige?

        • Mighty

          It’s green. Get it? :)

          • carmouflagger

            haha :D

    • James

      or over 3l lol

    • Kai

      Some models or imported versions can be quite expensive in China.

  • linette lee

    I hope china president xi jingping is a good president. I really hope so. And he seems like he is strong enough to rid some corruption in the china gov’t system. It will take lots of time and effort. But it has to start somewhere.

    • BiggJ

      How do you think he got to where he is?

    • YourSupremeCommander

      your mind is SO naive… wishful thinking but see BiggJ’s comment below.

    • ScottLoar

      One person cannot be strong enough to rid corruption in the Chinese government system or effect fundamental changes. The government is ruled by The Party, and seven members of The Party chose the head of government among themselves. The head of government has no experience of adult life outside The Party and shares no common experience of working life with most people in China; the head of government has spent his adult life successfully working his way up the career path in The Party and owes his position to The Party, especially to those seven electors comprising the Politburo Standing Committee.

      China constantly looks to morally upright people to govern but the problem is authoritarian rule which does not allow any outside check or balance and sees criticisms as challenges to its authority; Chinese history proves so again and again. No matter how morally correct the leadership The Party is still run by active bureaucrats and authorities who are unchecked; it is the nature of single party rule fostering strong local interests. The fault is not leadership but the very nature of The Party. Rather than a good emperor on the throne ruling, what’s needed is rules everyone must obey and institutions beyond the ruler’s power to effect those rules.

      • Ding. It’s as though Sun Yat-sen didn’t do a thing. The modern term “princeling” does not bode well.

  • Dan

    There’s only one picture, all the others are Chinasmack?

    • James

      Yeah, it’s like a Robert Silvers’ nightmare of photomosaic

  • Your Sexy Cousin Rex


  • Whatever

    Its dirty alright, but it goes on more subtly in the west, that’s all. PAL donations, stickers, knowing the Chief and Mayor’s office, capitol hill staffers admin types, etc etc all get away with traffic and parking violations, if you get medal-of-honor or handicap plates, you can do whatever the hell you like, seen it stateside. Europe has similiar get-out-of-jail-free cards, just a matter of cash and subtlety.

    I always say: The Chinese are more third world and they appear like rapists to the public. Gun to the face, remove your clothes and drop to your knees style. The Westerners are more refined and are seducers, they cloak the ambience with mood music, atmosphere smells good, but the public STILL gets screwed through and through! Just a more expensive form of assrape, that’s all!

    • Your Sexy Cousin Rex

      Nicely put

    • Ricky Beijing

      Disagree. I don’t think it’s possible to just lump all of the world’s leaders and government staff in a universal melting pot of “assrape”

      I agree that with a friend in government it’s possible to avoid paying a parking ticket or perhaps even a speeding fine, but the points still go onto your licence. Unless you know someone very high up, I’ve never heard of a “get-out-of-jail-free card” in europe.

      I’ll give you that there is corruption and cheating everywhere but what I see on a daily basis in China simply can’t be compared with the way I felt I was represented by the government of any European country I have lived in.

      Wasn’t Hu JinTao’s family quoted to be worth in the region of $1bn? I can’t see any European official managing to embezzle even $10m without getting caught and going away for a long time. At least I’ve never heard of it.

      • Paulos

        Well, Berlusconi’s getting there. There was Milosevic not too long ago and Ceausescu (old friend of the Chinese people) before that, but generally I agree with you. Europe does seem less “assraped” if we’re talking about the post ’49 world.

        P.S. Just out of curiosity, anyone know exactly how many “old friends of the Chinese people” were mass murderers? I’d be interested in making a list of some kind.

  • adsf

    All those cars are older model. SO those are purchased before the regulation. Really does not make sense to have to replace those cars with a new cheaper ones.

    • Kai

      In cases where that’s true, it still hurts the military’s image.

      One thing that wasn’t really emphasized in this article is how the new plates have some anti-counterfeiting features. The collective switchover is also intended to immediately render all the fake old plates that some people are using immediately unusable. Both are about saying to the public that the military is actively fighting corruption and that some cars the public sees as having military plates aren’t actually military but evil bastards.

      The problem is, I’m still not sure the traffic police dare to pull over and check cars with military plates. If they’re empowered to do so, without fear of negative repercussion as long as there was just cause, and they actually do so, then we might see some progress made with this social problem.

  • MrT

    I just got my new plate.

  • Johnny_Basic

    Oh right…you mean those white plates denote the car belongs to the military?

    I always presumed they were monogrammed wanker licenses.

    • Probotector

      No, those are the blue ones. The white ones indicate a wanker with some authority.

  • ChinaSpit

    Not directly related, but most people from abroad living in mainland China will get the point… maybe even a few locals.

  • What the first propaganda photo is missing besides a literal comparison of the two plates and the actual process of four guys who happen to be screwing/unscrewing a licence plate:

    – a leader pointing at a map, with several followers nodding
    – an aircraft carrier
    – Wen Jiabao

  • iLL

    There are a lot of people who drive with fake plates in China. Its not like western countries where they do random checks, car patrol, etc. All the traffic cops usually do is control the flow of traffic during rush hour and goto a scene of an accident. Most i seen cops do in China regarding traffic is check points for checking if people been driving and driving.

  • Ron King

    Oh yeah. This will fix everything.

  • Ron King

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

    Missed this quote. Um… did something happen last night while I was sleeping?

  • PLA junior enlisted: Couldn’t even dream of owning a car

    US military junior enlisted: Full trim Challengers/Mustangs/occasionally Corvettes with a down payment covered by their enlistment bonus and barely paying off each month

    PLA high ranking: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, mysteriously funded

    US military high rankng: F-150s and minivans

  • Odjors

    number plate in photo, BS30316: Bull shit 30316

  • trouse

    they’re just like that…steelheaded

  • hacienda

    sheeps are jealous.