Around 250,000 turn out in two cities in support of a bid to join the UN.
“The general committee … decided not to recommend this item [Taiwan‘s membership application] as part of the agenda of the 62nd session,” Janos Tisovszky, spokesman for the assembly president, said.
It was taken after the committee voted 24-3 to limit the number of speakers to two on each side of the issue, he said.
Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its territory, and says it will use force if it declares independence.
Beijing and Taipei both claim they are the legitimate government of all China.
Taiwan has been a multi-party democracy since 1996.
Taiwan’s defence ministry says China now has nearly 1,000 missiles aimed at the island.
The US is Taiwan’s major arms supplier and has warned China that any attack would be viewed with “grave concern”.
St Vincent and the Solomon islands spoke in favour of putting the item “urging the Security Council to process Taiwan‘s membership application” on the UN General Assembly’s agenda.
China and Egypt spoke against it, Tisovsky said.
In past years, Taiwan‘s supporters have publicly pressed the general committee to take up Taiwan‘s membership.
The island has been trying for years to rejoin but China has so far managed to block its application.
Taiwan‘s more aggressive approach has heightened tensions with China and Beijing has vowed to use force against Taiwan if it ever declares independence.