WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Foreign Policy Magazine’s Ravi Agrawal for a discussion on U.S.-Taiwan policy and its impact on transatlantic relations.

Murphy highlighted his concerns with making changes to U.S.-Taiwan policy that would increase the likelihood of armed conflict with China: “[T]here is a movement amongst some of my colleagues to either do away with the One China policy or make pretty serious and potentially damaging amendments to it. For instance, providing an implicit security guarantee or recognizing symbols of sovereignty that start to make it look like we are in fact giving implicit recognition to Taiwan. I don't think that's smart policy. I ultimately think that might expedite Chinese planning.”

Murphy added: “[I]t will be up to the American people as to whether the United States would expend military resources to protect Taiwan. That is a decision that cannot be made without an authorization of war and so, if those circumstances were ever to arise, it would be my responsibility and the responsibility of every single member of the Senate to consult with their constituents as to what the right approach would be. But I frankly agree with the position that the Biden administration has taken, which is to reserve that right, and I, frankly, don't think it accrues to our detriment to keep the question open as to whether or not the United States would come to Taiwan's defense.”

On cooperation with Europe, Murphy said: “I think one of the signature achievements of the Biden administration is to help bring greater alignment between the United States and Europe on China policy. When President Biden came into office, I think our policies were not fundamentally opposed, but they were very different, often in conflict. Europe was much more willing to accommodate China, try to manage its rise, try to get the benefit of integration with the Chinese economy. I think today, we are now collectively eyes wide open, and there is more interest in building a common industrial policy, sector by sector, industry by industry to derisk our integration.”

Last year, Murphy authored an op-ed in the Economist arguing that China’s aggressive actions against Taiwan demand a response, but we should make changes to our Taiwan policy carefully and thoughtfully to advance our interests, make Taiwan safer, and avoid a catastrophic war with China.