China has rejected U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's call to resume dialogue with Taiwan.

A spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office says Beijing sees no basis for dialogue with the island.

During his talks with Chinese officials in Beijing this week, Mr. Powell urged China to restart talks with Taiwan. He also stressed that Taiwan was not an independent country.

That remark drew criticism from Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, who said Taiwan is a separate nation, and that no country has the right to tell Taiwan it is not independent.

Dozens of pro-independence activists rallied outside the American Institute in Taiwan today (Wednesday) to protest Mr. Powell's remarks.

The United States recognizes Beijing as the sole government of China, but supplies Taiwan with weapons to defend against possible attack.