Secretary of State Colin Powell has reaffirmed the American "one China" policy, and says the United States will continue to oppose independence for Taiwan.

Meeting with Chinese officials in Beijing Monday, Mr. Powell said the United States needs to carefully balance Chinese and Taiwanese relations. Citing China's opposition to American weapons sales to the island, he said the Taiwan Relations Act requires Washington to supply the democratically-elected government with weapons to defend itself.

During his meetings, Mr. Powell said he expressed disappointment with Beijing's human rights record. He said Chinese officials have agreed to resume a dialogue on the issue.

The top U.S. diplomat said the range and scope of the discussions reflected the increasing global interaction and improved relationship between the two countries.