President Bush said on Friday the United States would use its influence to ensure China and Taiwan settle their differences peacefully and promised to make it clear to Taipei that Washington does not support independence.
In a news conference with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Bush said the United States stood by the "one China" policy, which acknowledges that Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China.
"The 'one China' policy means that the issue ought to be resolved peacefully," Bush said.
"We've got influence with some in the region. We intend to make sure that the issue is resolved peacefully, and that includes making it clear that we do not support independence," Bush added.
Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, has voiced support for a referendum on formal independence from China.
The move outraged Beijing, which views the island as a renegade province and a linchpin in Sino-U.S. relations.