China, North Korea and the Arab Spring
The reach is far.Topic 2: One group of foreign workers whose government has left stranded in Libya x
Topic one: Knockoff phones from autocratic China fuel the Arab Spring
The irony is that the Arab Spring has triggered a paroxysm of repression within China (sparked by the rumblings of a “Jasmine Revolution”) which has made life harder for its cell phone bandits, who were previously hiding in plain sight. But China's crackdown can't put the phones back in the box: China's cheap and easy manufacturing has helped usher in mass cell phone ownership in places where it once was a luxury. And with phones comes the free exchange of information that causes revolutions. If Beijing is looking for a cause of the uprisings that has them so scared, it's in the cheap alternatives that fuel China's economy.
About 200 North Koreans work in Libya. North Korea is resisting their return, fearing they'll foment a revolution based on what they've witnessed in Libya. Steve Inskeep speaks with journalist Sebastian Strangio, who has just written about this for Foreign Policy magazine.Word could get around.