WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- The United States Friday condemned the shooting of Taiwan's president and vice president, and said violence would not interrupt the democratic process.
President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu survived an assassination attempt earlier Friday while campaigning on the eve of the island's presidential election. They were both hospitalized after being shot at a campaign rally in the southern city of Tainan.
"We learned this morning of the shooting ... in Taiwan of President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Lu. The United States strongly condemns this act of violence ... and all acts of violence intended to disrupt the democratic process," State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said.
"We are grateful to hear that neither was seriously injured. Our thoughts are with their families, as we extend our sincere wishes for a full and speedy recovery," he added.
Saturday's presidential election is a close contest between Chen and opposition candidate Lien Chen. Authorities in Taipei said the election will go ahead as scheduled.