Guns N' Roses fans in China will have to go underground to get their hands on a copy of the band's first album in 17 years, "Chinese Democracy," which is released worldwide on Sunday (November 23).The rock band's Geffen Records label said on Friday (November 21) in a statement, "It is unlikely we will be approved to release the album in Mainland China."China's culture ministry has the final say on such matters, although rampant piracy makes the job difficult. Its decisions sometimes seem to lack consistency.The title track might raise some eyebrows. Evidently addressing China's communist leadership, singer Axl Rose says followers of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement have "seen the end and you can't hold on now.""I think Guns N' Roses' new album shows the true rock spirit of the rock artist, of the rock culture, because we have to speak out loud our beliefs and our faith. If we believe in democracy, we believe in freedom, we should just speak out loud. Guns N' Roses has made a perfect example,"said Freddy Lim, a Taiwanese black metal band singer who is also active in Taiwan's pro-independence movements.China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedon's Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang (KMT) fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary.Lim, whose album with music expressing Taiwan's limited International representation was also banned by the Chinese government, believes Guns N' Roses' title track will influence China."I think they are smart and they choose the right title. I think they are going to give pressure to the Chinese government because there are lots of rock bands in China, they like Guns N' Roses a lot," added Lim.The artwork on the album cover includes Beijing artist Shi Lifeng's 2008 oil painting "Red Star," which depicts the powerlessness of Chinese people in a state ruled by an iron fist. Photos of the Chinese military and the Hong Kong skyline also appear.But the album is devoid of bad language or sexual situations.
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