China Communist Party bureaucrats’ deluxe cars spark anger
A remnant of a decades-old Communist Party perks system, the luxe wheels are a conspicuous target of growing public outrage over the privileges of the elite. Angry Chinese have started posting photos.
Even the police are driving Porsches.
Chinese officials love their cars — big, fancy, expensive cars. A chocolate-colored Bentley worth $560,000 is cruising the streets of Beijing with license plates indicating it is registered to Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party headquarters. The armed police, who handle riots and crowd control, have the same model of Bentley in blue.
And just in case it needs to go racing off to war, the Chinese army has a black Maserati that sells in China for $330,000.
“Corruption on wheels is an accurate description of this problem,” said Wang Yukai, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing, who has been advocating restrictions on officials’ cars for years.
A remnant of a decades-old party perks system, the luxe wheels are a conspicuous target of growing public outrage over the privileges of the elite.
Armed with cellphone cameras, angry Chinese have started posting photographs of the expensive government cars — identifiable by their license plates — on a microblog site called Anti-Official Cars Extravagance that was set up in August. (Government censors shut down an earlier version of the same site.)
The Chinese government doesn’t release figures, but automobile industry analysts here say that spending for cars tops $15 billion annually, while some scholars believe the figure is many times that amount.