Parents have been warned to "respect social morality" and not damage the public interest when giving their children surnames amid growing concern about the rise of "exotic" names. The comments from Xin Chunying, deputy head of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, came as one lawmaker, Jiang Qiutao, called for strict rules on surnames to prevent problems in "social management", Xinhua reported. According to the general principles of the Civil Law and the Marriage Law, surnames can be passed down from either parent, or other lineal relatives such as grandparents. Traditionally, Chinese surnames are just one syllable and the given name one or two syllables. There is no tradition of middle names among the Chinese. However, to prevent duplication of names, some parents have been breaking convention in choosing surnames, with some even adding English letters to the name. A survey by Tong Jianjun, an associate professor at Sun Yat-sen University, found two-thirds of his students were not planning to follow convention, Xinhua reported. Xin said surnames were an important part of social structure. "Surnames reflect blood heritage, ethnic order and cultural tradition. Choosing surnames concerns social conventions," Xin told lawmakers, according to Xinhua. One analyst argued passing down either parent's surname could enhance family cohesion, maintain parent-child relationship and inter-generational relations. "Family is still the cell of society," said Professor Yang Dawen of Renmin University of China. The exception to the rule is ethnic minorities, who can name themselves based on their customs. The call to respect tradition echoes a campaign by President Xi Jinping to bolster ancient traditions and ideology, such as Confucianism.