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New military plates part of anti-corruption drive


09:59, April 29, 2013

BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- A new policy that requires vehicles used by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), as well as armed police, to have new license plates will help curb irregularities in the use of such vehicles as part of the government's anti-corruption drive.

Drivers of military vehicles are privy to a variety of special benefits, including exemptions from paying road tolls and parking fees.

These benefits have led some to create fake military license plates, as well as resulted in the abuse of genuine plates and the private use of military vehicles by government officials and wealthy individuals who are not supposed to use the vehicles.

Some of the genuine plates have been illegally sold to civilians who wish to enjoy the privileges they bring. Private and local government vehicles, some of the luxury cars, have been seen sporting military plates as well.

It is hoped that the new license plate policy will help to reduce such irregularities and dispel public anger resulting from military license plate abuses and other forms of corruption.

Information technology will be used to prevent the plates from falling into the wrong hands. The military has said that it will vigorously investigate and punish those to attempt to produce false military plates.

The military will be aided by the public in this matter, as the Internet has become a powerful tool for citizens to supervise the use of the plates and expose their misuse. Once outside the confines of military barracks, military vehicles will be under the close watch of the public eye.

However, 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.

The military must tackle corruption on wheels before it can improve its ability to safeguard the country.

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