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China military cracks down on officers' use of special license plates on luxury cars

China is banning the use of privileged military license plates on BMWs, Porches and other luxury cars in an attempt to crack down on abuses and reduce corruption.

Luxury vehicles carrying military plates with their distinctive red Chinese letters are a common sight in China, allowing the owners to avoid paying tolls, parking fees and speeding tickets. That elicits deep cynicism among a public convinced that government officials and ranking military officers abuse their privileges to enrich their families and lord it over ordinary citizens.

All vehicles now using military plates must re-register with new ones by Wednesday, but luxury vehicles will be excluded.

The new policy was ordered by President Xi Jinping, who also heads the Central Military Commission and has made anti-corruption a hallmark of his leadership.