A newspaper published by China's ruling Communist Party has blasted the latest Guns N' Roses album as an attack on the nation.
Delayed since recording began in 1994, "Chinese Democracy" hit stores in the U.S. on Sunday, although it is unlikely to be sold legally in China, where censors maintain tight control over films, music and publications.
In an article Monday headlined "American band releases album venomously attacking China," the Global Times said 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 record "turns its spear point on China," the article said.
China's Foreign Ministry did not respond to faxed questions about the article, although a spokesman speaking on routine condition of anonymity said: "We don't need to comment on that."
Spokesmen for the Culture Ministry and State Administration of Radio, Film and Television could not be reached for comment.
The song could be heard online Monday and it was not immediately possible to tell whether China's Internet monitors were seeking to block access to it.
Monitors use content filters that highlight and sometimes block messages containing words such as democracy. That prompted some Internet users to combine English and Chinese characters in their postings about the album to skirt such monitoring.