BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- China's military will use new car plates from May 1 and tighten controls on their approval, a move to stop civilian cars from carrying army plates and stamp out bogus military car licenses.
The military will "harshly crack down on" counterfeit military cars according to law, Geng Yansheng, spokesman with the Ministry of National Defense, told a news briefing on Thursday.
Geng made the comments when asked to comment on the alleged exposure of luxurious cars parked at dining and entertainment venues carrying military car plates during the Spring Festival holiday.
Geng said relevant authorities will probe the allegations and mete out punishment accordingly if there is found to be any violation of military regulations.
The spokesman pledged the military will tighten approval procedures to stop civilians from using military car plates and the use of fake versions of the plates.
In China, cars with military plates, which differ from ordinary vehicle plates in color and numbers, are legally entitled to privileges, including exemption from road tolls and parking fees.
The privileges have led to a rash of fake military plates and vehicles.
According to China's Law on Road Traffic Safety, vehicle drivers using counterfeit plates could face criminal charges, along with a fine of 2,000 to 5,000 yuan, and their vehicles being confiscated by police departments.
The country's criminal law also stipulates that citizens counterfeiting military plates could face prison terms of up to three years.
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