BEIJING – Over the years, Chinese authorities have tried to ban all forms of behavior on the grounds that they are "unmoved". They have tried to stop public spitting. They have tried to stop people from slipping their soup too high. They've been banning people from jaywalking and queuing.
Now another booklet of Chinese life faces an existential crisis: the sartorial practice known – not always loving – as "Beijing bikini", though certainly not limited to the capital.
It's a sure sign that summer has arrived in China when men start rolling their shirts, ideally resting them on the natural edge of their beer belly.
The theory based on traditional Chinese medicine is to expose its midriff to vent the warm "chi" energy around the internal organs. So in parks and on street corners, on motorcycles and in open restaurants, men do not think about pulling up their shirts and letting everything hang out.
But now the authorities in cities around the country have stated that the broader practice of exposing body parts to be covered ̵
Jinan, a city between Beijing and Shanghai, is the latest municipality to try to beat down "casual exposure", especially among "bang ye" or "expose grandfathers".
People who now face punishment if they are not "properly dressed publicly, especially in parks, squares, communities, buses, scenic places, commercial blocks and other areas that are densely populated."  Being shirtless and taking off shoes to float their feet is the worst crime, according to the local government in Jinan, who has called on urban departments, news media and grassroots organizations to play a role in ensuring deco rooms are not violated.
A journalist for Jinan Daily took the order to heart and found many men who were "shirtless or exposing their bellies" in parks and squares. "They may feel it's not a problem to be shirtless to enjoy some cool, but they don't know it's disrespectful," the report concluded. "In the public, you must not lose your civilized image."
Those who are exposed to postponing their mid-section will receive an oral warning.
"Penalties are not the ultimate purpose," said a Jinan official, according to the Beijing Youth Daily. "We just want people to pay more attention to these types of antisocial behavior."
But Tianjin, a port city outside of Beijing, imposes fines of up to $ 30 on offenders. The northeastern city of Shenyang has also imposed similar rules.
Many comments on Weibo, China's response to Twitter, supported the efforts of the various governments. The most popular answer was what recommended promoting this effort nationwide.
Another supporter said, "I can't keep it. They make public places their own home. It's as if they are taking the sky as their quilt and the ground their bed."
But others rejected the effort as irrelevant or discriminatory . "There is nothing wrong with being shirtless. Our ancestors from generations back did this," one said. "Government should pay more attention to improving people's well-being."
People's Daily, China's Communist Party's mouthpiece, has begun to write about the effort to get people to cover up. One post noted that many places take measures to curb this informal exposure, showing shirtless men and a woman in a park who had taken his stockings off his shoes.
Another Weibo post asked people what outrageous public behavior they hate most. The most common complaints included smoking and spitting in public places.
In the capital, some practitioners of rental -Warm-Energy-Escape theory are scoffed at the idea of banning Beijing bikinis .
"It's not a big deal. It's just our habit. We must do it when it's hot," said a man who only gave his last name, Fu. He sat in a sun lounger outside his building material store in a Beijing alley, as mercury hit 100 degrees, his blue shirt completely open.
"We are shirtless because we have to cool down," he said, while his wife shouted from inside the store: "It's not civilized."
When a man came down the hall with his T-shirt slung over his shoulder, Fu shouted: "Put on your clothes!" as if protecting him from curious journalists.
Across the road, a group of men were gathered on a shady street corner, one of them sitting on a overturned bike, playing cards and listening to a radio. Some were fully dressed. Some had their pants rolled up. But most were sporting Beijing bikinis.
"I'm not shirtless. I even wear shoes," a man happily vented a stomach that had used many bottles of beer and bowls of noodles. Another pointed to his navel and said to the laughter's portrayal: "The hot air can go out through the hole."
When a woman in a mid-term singlet top and cutoff shorts passed by, the men complained that new rules should apply to everyone. The reporters took proper men's dry and asked the woman to cover.
"I support it a lot because they have to respect other people," said Lily Huang, a dance instructor, after reading the reports from Jinan and noting it. Not only for midriffs, but for all indecent nudity.
"In an outdoor environment, they should not be naked on the top and walk around publicly," she said, distinguishing strongly between her exposure level and theirs.
The men should not be swayed. "It's a personal style," one said. "If women reveal their stomachs, it's beautiful, but when we do that, it's ugly?"
Liu Yang contributed to this report.