The Bush Administration is pro-democracy. What happens (against America's wishes) if Taiwan declares formal independence from China? Possibly, China attacks Taiwan, the US defends Taiwan, and Japan backs up the US in the Pacific. That is what seems to be the likely scenario based on the news below, assuming Taiwan decides to make such a move.
The United States and Japan took a step closer, as reported today in the WP, in revising the US-Japan Security Alliance to include the defense of Taiwan and identifying security in the Taiwan Strait as a "common strategic objective". Japan has committed to assisting in a non-military back-up roll to the US military if China invades Taiwan. This can only be taken as a sign that Japan is increasingly nervous with a militarily and economically growing China.
This move must increase the Chinese feeling of being further contained by the US, much as the Japanese felt pre-1941. Taiwan will be an interesting and important test of US rhetoric needing to be matched up with actions. The change in the US-Japanese Alliance could be political posturing to put pressure on China to slow down its military buildup near the Taiwan Strait, though I think it will have the opposite effect, as China seeks a larger naval pressence, including nuclear submarines, to counter the US and Japan over Taiwan.
How could the US not support a democratic Taiwan seeking self-determination from a communist mother country? It would be tragic to have a war with China over Taiwanese independence. They currenly have de facto freedom, but Taiwan does lack the international relations it should rightfully have as a free society.
UPDATE: Secretary of State Rice and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld met with their Japanese counterparts Foreign Minister Machimura and Defense Minister Ohno for a press conference (text here). Taiwan is not mentioned by name, but China's significant military build up is along with the need to have China bring North Korea back to the six party talks was highlighted by all. (2.20.05)