I used to think that the popular Chinese Communist phrase ‘running dogs’, manifest in Mao’s Little Red Book, had gone out of fashion. It was rather cute in its day:
‘People of the world, unite and defeat the US aggressors and all their running dogs! People of the world, be courageous, dare to fight, defy difficulties, and advance wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to the people. Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed.’
However, it seems that the current style guide of the Chinese Communist mouthpiece The Global Times still contains it, and instructions for it to be regularly used.
Look at the following quote:
However, no matter how Australia arms itself, it is still a running dog of the US. We advise Canberra not to think that it has the capability to intimidate China if it acquires nuclear-powered submarines and offensive missiles. If Australia dares to provoke China more blatantly because of that, or even find fault militarily, China will certainly punish it with no mercy.
You could indeed say that the editors of The Global Times are rabid dogs (politically at least), given the characteristically belligerent language expressed in that paragraph, and in the rest of that angry article, such as the following:
Once the Australian army fights the People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Straits or the South China Sea, military targets in Australia will inevitably become targets of Chinese missiles. Since Australia has become an anti-China spearhead, the country should prepare for the worst.
Mind you, the opening sentence of that paragraph prefaces this threat with the comment that it would be a good idea for Australia to get an anti-missile system.
And the intentions which keep getting revealed in the article, and in the rest of the quality objective journalism on show in The Global Times makes me glad that we have signed up to this new AUKUS defence treaty. It means not only that we have now got renewed and strengthened formal defence ties to two of our historically closest and strongest allies, but that we are likely to be formally elevated as a US ally to a status second only to that of the UK (which, despite my Italian origins, I consider Australia’s motherland).
This AUKUS defence pact is important as it sends a strong message to our potential enemies (and only the naive would think that a country who talks about targeting us with missiles is not a potential enemy) that Australia not only is going to contribute solidly to its defence and regional security, but is supported by the US and the UK, each separately an ally very worth having, let alone collectively.
The agreement to share nuclear submarine technology with Australia is, in the context of a bellicose Communist China, more a relief than a necessary evil. China is developing a powerful blue water navy. This will enable it to threaten and tyrannise its neighbours for thousand of miles around. The best defence against a blue water navy is to have one of your own, particularly in the form of attack submarines.
Nuclear attack submarines are not offensive weapons as such. They do not carry nuclear missiles to bombard cities with. They are there to sink blue navy vessels, such as those that China wants to use to impose its will on the Indo-Pacific region.
To borrow from Mao’s Little Red Book, except to substitute PRC for US, the following message is relevant for The Global Times to consider:
‘Riding roughshod everywhere, PRC imperialism has made itself the enemy of the people of the world and has increasingly isolated itself. Thee who refuse to be enslaved will never be cowed by the atom bombs and hydrogen bombs in the hands of the PRC imperialists. The raging tide of the people of the world against the PRC aggressors is irresistible. Their struggle against PRC imperialism and its lackeys will assuredly win still greater victories.’
We might be ‘running dogs’, but it is the rabid dogs who are truly a threat to the safety of any community.