The Chinese government is waging a battle against white T-shirts and photocopy machines, in an apparently intensified effort to stamp out dissent.

The ruling Communist Party, known for its heavy-handed – and sometimes incredulous – censorship, enforced new regulations, such as a registry system for white T-shirts and obliging anyone who uses photocopiers to provide identification.

T-shirts, argued Chinese authorities, could easily fall into the wrong hands and be used to display for propaganda statements against the government. Meanwhile, photocopiers can help proliferate small posters, pamphlets and other protest paraphernalia.

Bulk-buying of anti-pollution masks and other coverings for the face that could make it hard for authorities to identify individuals, especially protesters, was also banned, reports the Times of London.

The policies have been imposed in the southwestern city of Kunming where there have been recent public protests against a new chemical plant.

The regulations were also implemented ahead of the China-South Asia Expo as part of a campaign to “welcome the Expo through stability maintenance”.

The move sparked disbelief and outrage online, with many accusing the government of paranoia against social unrest in the country.