First, Congressman Forbes started blaming China on constructing 2000 acres of land reclaimed on her islands in the South China Sea. The simple facts are that the Philippines and Vietnam had long started land reclaim on the 'disputed' islands way before China did on her own islands. The U.S. did not complain then. Besides, on the issue of disputed territory in the South China Sea, Taiwan and China are more on the same page than adversaries. Taiwan's '9 Duan' line and China's '11 Duan' line are essentially the same claim. Forbes seems to be concerned that China will declare an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea as she did in the East China Sea. China followed international practice and the U.S., Russia, and Canada's precedents to declare her ADIZ for the safety, security and freedom of civilian aviation; hindsight, all involved including the U.S. has been benefitted by China’s declaration. The fact that the Japanese and other civilian airlines obliged to the ADIZ regulation was a good thing to civil aviation. As for reconnaissance, more and clearer rules of conduct are better, not worse, for the military.
Forbes emotionally complained that the U.S. officers with ranks higher than colonel are prohibited to visit Taiwan under official capacity and Taiwan's government officials likewise are not allowed to visit the U.S. He further raised the issue that Taiwan's military officers are not permitted to participate in U.S. military training in their uniforms. As a member of the House Armed Services sub-committee on Sea Power and Projection Forces, he ought to know what uniforms stand for. One can simply use the boiling and controversial issue on the Flag of the Confederate States happening in the US Southern States to understand the importance of 'symbolism' flags and uniforms represent. More importantly, The Taiwan Relation Act (1979) was passed under the condition that the U.S. wished to recognize the People's Republic of China and wished to have a peaceful reunification between China and Taiwan. So it is wrong for Congressman Forbes to write in his article regarding the above restrictions as indignities on a "friendly nation". Forbes should know that the U.S. does not regard Taiwan as a nation. Continuing to muddy that position is not conducive to peaceful reunification between Mainland China and Taiwan. Sure, there are elements, even politicians in Taiwan, are advocating for independence, but that is just as normal as some U.S. citizens and politicians advocating independence of Texas, Hawaii, California or any other territories of the U.S. The U.S. would never tolerate interference from a third country such as Russia, China or Cuba on this type of domestic issue, would she?
It is obvious from the Forbes article to see that Forbes is patriotic. He prefers that the U.S. will take a stronger position regarding the U.S. interest or strategy. However, being strong does not mean to act unilaterally, certainly not hypocritically. It is one thing to make alliances with other countries to strengthen the U.S. Military power to prevent or to stop aggression for the purpose of maintaining world peace but it is a different matter to strengthen military capacity for the sake of maintaining a superpower position. Not all countries will have the exact thinking and rationale as the U.S. in hypothesizing a target enemy or the degree to engage in arms race to respond to a hypothetical enemy or a geopolitical situation. For example, Australia, India and the ASEAN nations, they may have varied views regarding Asia Pacific security and adopting policies towards a hypothetical enemy from the U.S. view (even there, different US think tanks may differ considerably). Statesmen like Lee Kuan Yew, Kevin Michael Rudd, etc., have given ample speeches or writings in cautioning the U.S. and China to take a mutually accommodating approach in their relation rather than maintaining a hostile attitude towards each other, obviously for the benefit of each other and the world.
Surely, great nations have differences and conflicts, but many wise men have rational reasons to state that the world is not a zero sum game. The rise of China does not mean the demise of the U.S. or vice versa. Taking a cautious and negotiating posture does not mean a weak U.S.; on the contrary, only a strong nation has the confidence to engage in negotiations. For complex world issues negotiation may be the only route to resolution. The Iran nuclear issue is a good example. Insisting on inviting Taiwan to join in military exercises and induce Taiwan to purchase weapons are not exactly exercising the Taiwan Relation Act in a sincere manner; on this point many Chinese especially many Chinese Americans including many in the State of Virginia share a common view - Let the people in Mainland and Taiwan resolve their issues and reunify peacefully without external intervention and without a specific time table. The Chinese government has been agreeing to that principle and so are the majority of the Taiwan voters as they voted Ma Ying Jeou twice as their President. The independent voice is only healthy and productive in a peaceful process of negotiating a favorable reunification condition for Taiwan and China. The opposition party and the silent majority in Taiwan understand that well.
Congressman Forbes is in a very good position to contribute to the above rational goal. Taiwan does not need an ally, what she needs is an honest friend sincerely bearing her interest in mind!