A top Chinese think-tank believes that social networking sites like Facebook pose a security threat to China.
These sites are being used as 'tools of subversion' by Western nations, including the United States, claimed the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in its annual report on the development of new media.
"Facebook has appeared as the rallying point for overseas Xinjiang separatist groups," the report said.
"These social networking sites have become a tool for political subversion used by Western nations, including the United States," it said.
This view is significant in view of the fact that Beijing has also expressed concerns about the material appearing on the search engine Google.
China requires Google and other search companies to filter pornographic and politically sensitive content from their search results.
Google had earlier said it planned to stop censoring Google.cn, its search engine aimed at Chinese users, and that the move might lead it to shut its China offices altogether.
Google also said it had been hit by sophisticated cyber attacks launched from China and largely aimed at accessing the G-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.
Google has since reported to have agreed to censor the search results of its Google China search engine in the wake of Beijing's objections, attracting a lot of flak and protest.
Google's decision to comply to Chinese law in order to expand its services in China has opened up a can of worms which may not go away anytime soon.