PICK a godfather. That was the barbed warning of a former senior officer of China's People's Liberation Army to Australia. Choose between China (its greatest trading partner) and the US (its greatest ally and security guarantor). In a recent visit to Beijing, Australia's defence minister was quizzed by Chinese generals why our country is hosting 2500 marines in rotations through the Northern Territory and strengthening its defence ties with Washington. They know about Australia's blueprint for a future war alongside the US against China in the secret chapter of the 2009 Defence white paper, even if it was merely a contingency plan.