Top Story – Tens of thousands march in Hong Kong to demand freedom: Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of Britain’s handover of the Hong Kong to Communist China. Despite Tropical Storm Rumbia, tens of thousands took to the streets to mark the day by demanding full democracy and an end to the Communists’ interference in their city (the regime selects the city’s leader and most of its legislature). The Civil Human Rights Front – which organized the march, put the number of protesters at 430,000 (Epoch Times).

Communist Labor camps – still as bad as they’ve ever been: Carol Wickencamp (Epoch Times) has the details.

Other Human Rights News: July 1 was also the anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. The regime marked the occasion by introducing a new online petition for airing of grievances, ostensibly as “the online counterpart to the long treks that petitioners make from their provinces to Beijing protesting a multitude of human rights abuses” (Epoch Times). It crashed on the first day. The Epoch Times also reported on the travails of the folks who make the physical trek to Beijing – and are usually turned away by the regime anyway (Epoch Times).

Regime tries to change the subject as economy slows: As the CCP comes to terms with the end of the economic boom and storm clouds ahead (Epoch Times), none other than Xi Jinping himself are trying to claim the economic growth shouldn’t be important (Washington Post).

Regime’s ranks aren’t slowing down, though: Over the last four years, the cadres have added over half a million to their government ranks, despite the economic troubles (Epoch Times):

The June 27 released figures by the State Administration of Civil Service show that between 2008 and 2012, the number of public servants in China increased by 512,000, or an average of 128,000 per year. At the end of 2012 there were 7.089 million public servants.

China also has around 40 million people working in government funded so called “associations,” such as the All China Women’s Federation, as well as “work units,” such as the regime mouthpiece China Daily, a ministry level work unit, Jinghua Times reported in April 2012.

In total, about 28 Chinese people shoulder one taxpayer-funded public servant position.

That doesn’t even include the state-owned enterprises or “private” firms owned by cadres.

Smithfield alternative to Shuanghui sell out presented: Speaking of firms owned by cadres, Shuanghui’s attempt to buy out Smithfield Foods came under continuing criticism from Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William, Virginia), who presented an alternative, employee-owned plan to the Epoch Times. Among the points in the story is this history lesson on Shuanghui:

Today, Shuanghui shares are owned primarily by investment firms such as Goldman Sachs, but the once state-sponsored company still has strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Shuanghui chairman, 71-year-old Wan Long, has been a member of the national legislature for the past 15 years.

One does not get into the regime’s parliament without being a well-connected cadre.

Other American-related News: The Congressional-Executive Commission on China heard more about the CCP’s cyberhacking efforts against America (Epoch Times). Reuben Johnson examines the increasing power of the CCP in the Pacific – and the increasing concern of the regime’s neighbors – in the Weekly Standard. The CCP plays its usual Korean game with the US – calling for a resumption of the old “six party talks” that have failed before (Washington Post).

Other International News: The CCP held talks with India on border issues (Epoch Times). Escapees who reached Canada talk about the increased freedom in their new home (Epoch Times).

What exactly did Frank Hsieh say? The former Taiwan PM and prominent Democratic Progressive is taking some heat for what he said regarding a cross-straits services liberalization deal that the KMT government signed with the CCP, although much of it comes from convenient editing on the part of the regime-backed press (Taipei Times).

Speaking of the KMT…its leader (and Taiwan’s president) Ma Ying-jeou is said to be completely in the dark about his own government’s plans to take down communications towers that help broadcast dissident-backed massages into Communist China (Epoch Times – which is a sister company of the affected radio station, Sound of Hope).