Egypt’s pro-democracy revolt may have been buried on the wrong side of the Great Chinese Firewall, but that hasn’t stopped China’s vast manufacturing industry from making a fast buck out of regime change in Cairo.

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Egypt’s pro-democracy revolt may have been buried on the wrong side of the Great Chinese Firewall – the Beijing authorities filtered out news of the uprising from online searches and censored comments about it on web forums – but that hasn’t stopped China’s vast manufacturing industry from making a fast buck out of regime change in Cairo.

Only a few weeks after former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled following mass demonstrations and violent street battles launched by government security forces and pro-Mubarak thugs, roads which were once littered with rocks and molotov cocktails are now teeming with market stalls offering every conceivable type of plastic protest kitsch. Bandanas jostle with car licence plates, martyrs’ calendars are on sale next to “freedom pendants” and t-shirts, and flags – Egyptian, Libyan, and beyond, all made in China – are for sale by the bucket-load on every city corner. The revolution has been well and truly merchandised.

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