Planet China

Tanks a lot

Thanks to the countless number of surveillance cameras around the country, it’s tough to perform a hit and run in China and not be caught. Unless, that is, the offender drives a tank.

That’s exactly what happened on a busy road in Suzhou earlier this month. A luckless driver of a Chevrolet first found her car stuck in heavy traffic. Then she saw a fleet of armoured vehicles – belonging to the People’s Liberation Army – soar by on the opposite lane at high speed.

Apparently bemused by this rare military deployment on a public highway, the driver used her camera to film the tanks. Then something odd occurred: one of the tanks crashed through the guard rail between the two roads and smashed into her Chevrolet.

Amazingly her car was only slightly damaged and the rattled driver was not injured. Police officers subsequently arrived, but notably not until the tank had been removed from the scene by the army. The car driver later filed an insurance claim.

Her video footage was posted on the internet and understandably has gone viral, with many netizens voicing disapproval at the PLA tank driver’s road skills. “Imagine calling the insurance and saying your car was hit by a tank!” one netizen marvelled.

According to Phoenix News, the armoured vehicle in question is strictly speaking not a tank but a much lighter self-propelled gun. That might explain the minor damage it did to the Chevrolet. Somewhat pedantically Phoenix News also clarified: “It is not a hit and run if the PLA vehicles were carrying out an order or even a training mission.” The PLA has made no announcement about whether the vehicle’s driver has been punished but after all the negative publicity WiC finds it hard to believe the individual got off with just a verbal warning…

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