Troops, parades and protests: China prepares for National Day celebrations

China is hosting vast celebrations this week to mark 70 years of Communist rule, including a massive parade that will show off the country’s military might. But the pageantry could be overshadowed by protests in Hong Kong.

Events to mark China’s National Day have already begun, including spectacular light shows and arts performances, while on Monday, President Xi Jinping paid tribute to Chairman Mao's embalmed body at Tiananmen Square.

The main event will be a massive military parade in Beijing on Tuesday.

Rehearsals for the parade have been going on for weeks, with some 15,000 soldiers set to take part along with hundreds of military vehicles and aircraft.

But the celebrations could be overshadowed by the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong.

The semi-autonomous region has been hit by nearly four months of pro-democracy protests and activists have dubbed China’s National Day a “Day of Grief”.

Authorities there have banned a planned demonstration and arrested at least two activists.

Demonstrators are expected to take to the streets on Tuesday despite the security crackdown.