Beijing, Nov.25 : China has launched a propaganda broadside against American rock band Guns N' Roses, citing their comeback album as an attack on the nation.
The album, entitled Chinese Democracy, went on sale in Europe yesterday amid a huge promotional drive.
But the Communist Party's mouthpiece Global Times newspaper, in an article headlined "American band releases album venomously attacking China", reported that unidentified Chinese internet users had described the album as part of a plot by some in the West to "grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn".
The article said the album "turns its spear point on China".
China's foreign ministry did not respond to questions about the article, and The Scotsman quoted a spokesman as saying: "We don't need to comment on that."
The Global Times article referred only to the title of the album and not to specific song lyrics.
But the record's title track makes mentions the Falun Gong meditation movement that was banned by China as an "evil cult" and warns "if your Great Wall rocks, blame yourself", in an apparent message to the country's authoritarian government.
Songs from the album could be heard on internet sites such as YouTube and the band's MySpace page yesterday, and it was not immediately possible to tell whether China's rumoured 30,000-strong team of government internet monitors were seeking to block access to it.
China approves only limited numbers of foreign films and recordings for distribution each year, partly due to political concerns but also to protect domestic producers.
Live performances are also closely regulated, with bands forced to submit set lists beforehand.
THE title of the album was inspired, according to a 2001 statement from the Guns N' Roses frontman, Axl Rose, by his watching the 1997 film Kundun, about Tibet's Dalai Lama, and his oppression by Beijing.
The album is the most expensive recording ever made, taking some 17 years to complete and costing more than 13 million dollars.
Only Rose is left from the band's original line-up.