China to Military: Stop Driving Flashy Cars
Beijing bans Porsches, Beemers with military plates
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 29, 2013 9:54 AM CDT
Chinese soldiers march outside the Great Hall of the People before the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress in Beijing, China, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

(Newser) – China is yanking the keys from military brass who like to zip around in posh Mercedes and Porsches. Under new President Xi Jinping's crackdown on corruption, the country has banned the use of military plates on luxury cars, according to state news. The new government is concerned with its image, CNNMoney notes, and military plates have often given drivers free rein to ignore traffic rules. Some civilians are reportedly buying military plates through auctions. "Irregularities in the use of military cars have drawn public attention," Xinhua says.

"The move is meant to crack down on the creation, sale, and use of counterfeit military vehicle plates and root out loopholes in military vehicle management, so as to maintain social harmony, stability, and the reputation of the military," officials say. So what qualifies as a luxury car? Anything worth more than $73,000, or with an engine bigger than three liters. Mercedes, BMW, Lincoln, Jaguar, and Porsche are among targeted brands.