It's kind of interesting to see all the touristy trinkets and cheap souvenirs, because it kind of shows you how a country markets itself to other people, as well as how other people who come to the country want to see it. So naturally in China, there are tons of cheap jade bracelets, and silks of various colors, you get the idea.
But the other thing that caught my attention is what seems to be a smaller market in a kind of Communist chic. Mao watches, green canvas bags with the red Communist star on it as well as Mao's head, hats with the red star on them etc. I suspect that the Communist paraphernalia is for the backpacking crowd, for I have seen many an unkempt white dude with a backpack sporting one of those canvas bags. Which is kind of interesting. It's pretty natural that there's a certain type of backpacker would eschew the sort of more obviously touristy souvenirs, what I find amusing is that the market has adapted to sell this type of customer their own, distinct but no less cheap or ubiquitous type of souvenir.