By Michael Evans
Shanghaiist favorite Jackie Chan has once again found himself the center of controversy after photos of him stepping into a car with military license plates in Beijing were posted on Sina Weibo on Friday. The photos were exposed at a time when the abuse of military vehicles and their privileges has increasingly come under fire, the South China Morning Post reports.
“Has our military hired Jackie Chan to teach soldiers martial arts?”, said Yu Jianrong, an avid online activist and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
“This is obviously a movie prop,” commented another blogger sarcastically on Weibo.
“Will Jackie Chan please use his martial arts to reclaim the Diaoyu Islands?” said another.
Yu Jianrong has been collecting photos sent in by netizens showing luxury cars with military license plates. Military spokespersons and the official press have responded by claiming that many of the photos show plates that have been either forged or stolen from legitimate army vehicles.
The Ministry of Defense announced Thursday that as of May 1, restrictions on the use of military plates will be tightened, and the use of counterfeit plates will be severely punished.