NY Times    Washington Post    AP      PhotoPage  (han-ji  漢字)    Suspect 歹徒?

Taiwanese President Survives Assassination Attempt

By KEITH BRADSHER      Published: March 19, 2004  8am (EST)   New York Times 

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were greeting campaign supporters on Friday when they were shot.

Enlarge This Image

Associated Press
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian holding the bullet that wounded him Friday during a campaign rally.

video at Chi-Mei Hospital

TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 19 The president of Taiwan was shot today and the vice president was slightly wounded on the eve of bitterly contested national elections, but neither suffered life-threatening injuries and the Central Election Commission here said the vote would proceed on Saturday.

President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were standing in the back of an open-roofed red Jeep driving slowly through streets crowded with supporters in the southern city of Tainan, the president's hometown, when the president was struck in the stomach by a bullet, said Chiou I-Jen, the secretary general of the presidential office.

The supporters were discharging large numbers of firecrackers, and the president initially thought he had been hit by one of them, only to find his stomach becoming wet with blood, Mr. Chiou said at a news conference this afternoon at the presidential office here. The president and vice president were taken to the Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan.

A bullet was found lodged between the skin of the president's stomach and his undershirt, having apparently torn a wound four inches long, an inch wide and an inch deep, Dr. Steve Chan, the medical center's president, said in a televised briefing.

Ms. Lu's injury was less clear. Mr. Chiou said that the vice president had felt a sharp pain in her right knee at the same time as the president was hit, but Mr. Chiou and other presidential officials declined to specify whether she had been struck by a bullet. Dr. Chan said she had a very shallow flesh wound on her knee.

President Chen and Vice President Lu were discharged from the hospital early this evening and aides said they would fly back here immediately.

Defense Minister Tang Yian-min said that the Taiwanese military had been placed on alert but that there had been no hint of any unusual activity across the Taiwan Strait in mainland China.

Nobody answered the phones this afternoon at the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment. Evening television broadcasts in China did not report the shooting, and only at 7:56 p.m. did the mainland's official New China News Agency release a single-sentence statement noting Taiwanese news media accounts that Mr. Chen and Ms. Lu had been attacked.

But mentions of the attack began to appear by midafternoon in Internet chat rooms, possibly because many Chinese now have access to satellite television broadcasts from Hong Kong.

President Chen's Democratic Progressive Party and Lien Chan, the presidential candidate of the opposition Nationalist Party, each appealed for calm, canceled large campaign rallies scheduled for this evening and even urged their supporters not to gather in public places.

While attacks on political figures are almost unheard of in Taiwan, the island does have a long history of serious rioting in response to political developments, most recently in 2000, when Nationalist Party supporters violently protested Mr. Lien's loss in that election to Mr. Chen.

A crowd of more than 1,000 had gathered by this evening outside the Democratic Progressive Party campaign headquarters here. Some were crying as the crowd sang patriotic songs, but there was no sign of violence.

Mr. Lien said he had expected a million of Taiwan's 23 million people to attend the four large rallies across the country it had planned for this evening. He condemned the attack today and said that when he tried to call the president three hours after the incident, "his staff told me he was all right, it was nothing too serious."

Prime Minister Yu Shyi-kun of Taiwan said at a news conference this evening that there was no evidence yet of how many shots had been fired or who had fired them.

Wang Chin-wang, the deputy director of Taiwan's National Security Bureau, said that Taiwanese intelligence had not picked up any hint in advance of a possible attack on the president. Yu Cheng-hsien, who is Taiwan's minister of internal affairs and is not related to the prime minister, was with the president at the time of the attack and will oversee the investigation in Tainan.

Taiwan does not have a history of domestic terrorism or assassination attempts. President Chen's Jeep was not equipped with bulletproof glass and local television footage showed a bullet hole in its windshield; Taiwanese television reported that the Tainan police had found two bullet shells on the ground.

The government-owned Central News Agency quoted an adviser to Ms. Lu as saying that Ms. Lu believed a bullet had ricocheted off her and into the president. But the bullet hole in the Jeep's windshield appeared to be just in front of President Chen's lower stomach.

President Chen was not wearing his bulletproof vest, but he seldom does so even when he is not in his hometown, Mr. Chiou said. Mr. Chen has prided himself on being accessible to the public as part of this country's flourishing democracy, also opening the presidential office building to the public on weekday mornings.

Taiwan's National Security Council held a special meeting this afternoon, reviewing the effect of the shooting on civil order, international relations and financial markets. The shooting took place at 1:45 this afternoon, 15 minutes after the regular closing of the local stock market.

President Chen has long been an outspoken critic of the mainland and an advocate for greater Taiwanese independence from China. But Beijing has kept its public criticisms of him to a minimum during the election campaign, after its criticisms of candidates favoring greater independence in the 1996 and 2000 presidential races appeared to backfire, drawing a sympathy vote for those candidates.

Mr. Lien has called for closer relations with the mainland. He said this week that if elected, he would travel to Washington, then Tokyo and then Beijing before his inauguration.

While some lawmakers have visited Beijing, no president or president-elect has visited the mainland since the Nationalists fled here in 1949 after losing China's civil war to the Communists.

 original story: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/19/international/asia/19CND-TAIW.html?hp 

Taiwan's President, Vice President Wounded in Shooting
Both Were Released From Hospital Following Treatment

By Philip P. Pan
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 19, 2004; 6:44 AM

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Mar. 19 - Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian and his vice president were wounded Friday after at least one bullet was fired at them while campaigning on the eve of an election that has deeply divided the island and angered authorities in mainland China.

Taiwan President Chen Shia-bian looks down towards his stomach shortly after being shot in an assassination attempt today in Taiwan. (AFP

Chen was shot across the abdomen and Vice President Annette Lu was struck in the right knee as they stood in an open-roof sport utility vehicle waving at crowds lining the streets of the southern city of Tainan, the president's hometown.

The injuries were not life-threatening and neither Chen nor Lu lost consciousness or required surgery, officials said. The Reuters news agency said they were released from the hospital several hours later.

A government official said half of the bullet was found on Chen's jacket and the other half on the floor of the vehicle. The bullet may have split after passing through the front windshield, where a hole was later discovered. Teams of investigators were sent to Tainan to question witnesses, and others were studying extensive video footage that may have captured the incident.

Authorities said there were no immediate arrests and declined to speculate on a possible motive for the attack. The apparent assassination attempt occurred as the crowds were setting off firecrackers in celebration, and officials said Chen and Lu did not immediately realize they had been shot.

"The vice president first felt pain in her knee, and she thought it was caused by firecrackers," said Chiou I-Jen, one of Chen's top advisers. "Then the president felt some wetness on his abdomen area, and then they realized something was wrong."

An emotional crowd gathered quickly outside the hospital where Chen was taken as well around his campaign headquarters in Taipei, but Chiou and other leaders of Chen's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party appealed for calm and called on supporters not to stage any demonstrations.

Chen's opponent in the presidential race, Nationalist Party leader Lien Chan, condemned the attack and also urged his supporters to remain cool. Both parties suspended campaign activities, canceling huge rallies that had been scheduled in various cities across Taiwan.

But officials said the election was expected to proceed as scheduled on Saturday.

Chen, who has struggled to govern because he won the presidency with only 39 percent of the vote in 2000 and has trailed Lien in public opinion polls for much of the year, managed to narrow the gap in recent months by stepping up the anti-China rhetoric and proposing that a referendum be held on the same day as the presidential election.

The move prompted a series of strong warnings by China, which has long opposed any referendum in Taiwan as a potential step toward an island-wide vote on independence.

Chen has resisted stronger economic ties with the mainland unless Beijing grants security and political concessions. He has also promised to write a new constitution for the island and call a referendum to approve it within two years, a move that China has said could amount to a declaration of independence and prompt a military response.

Lien has pledged a more conciliatory approach toward China, which his party ruled under Chiang Kai-shek before it lost the civil war against the Communists and retreated to Taiwan in 1949. He has made a priority of further economic integration with China -- by establishing direct air and shipping links, for example -- and argued that issues related to Taiwan's sovereignty should be set aside for future generations to resolve.

original story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6817-2004Mar19.html

Taiwan president, vice president shot and slightly injured while campaigning

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) President Chen Shui-bian and his vice president survived an assassination attempt Friday while campaigning on the eve of a closely fought election focusing on the military threat from the Chinese mainland.

In a videotaped message hours after being grazed in the abdomen by a bullet, Chen looked stiff and tired but reassured viewers about his health and Taiwan's security.

''There's no problem with A-bian,'' Chen said, referring to himself by his nickname.

Police had no suspects in the shooting of Chen, 53, and Vice President Annette Lu, 59, who was hit in the right knee, as they rode in an open Jeep along a street jammed with Chen's supporters in his hometown of Tainan.

At least two shots were fired, and there might have been more than one gunman, said Liu Shih-lin, deputy chief of the National Police.

''The bullets come from different directions,'' Liu said.

The vote will go ahead as planned Saturday, an election official said. In addition to the presidential contest, an unprecedented referendum spearheaded by Chen will ask voters whether the island should increase its defenses against hundreds of Chinese missiles pointed at it.

The United States has expressed its displeasure at the referendum, along with France, Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Some analysts predicted the attack could boost Chen's chances in what had been seen as a close vote. Chen has angered the Nationalist opposition and Beijing by championing a separate identity for Taiwan.

China, which claims Taiwan is part of its territory and insists the two should be unified, fears the referendum could lead to a vote on Taiwanese independence. Beijing has bitterly denounced Chen, although it toned down its attacks recently.

Philip Yang, a political scientist at National Taiwan University in Taipei, said the shooting ''could bring out sympathy votes'' for the president but could also consolidate the Nationalist Party.

China is a volatile topic in Taiwanese elections. The two sides split when the Communists took over the mainland in 1949. Beijing wants Taiwan to unify and has threatened to attack if Taiwan seeks a permanent split.

Beijing waited more than six hours to publicly report the shooting, and then only in a two-sentence report on its official news agency.

Taiwanese officials refused to speculate about who fired the shots.

A ''deranged individual'' seemed the most likely suspect, said Steve Tsang, director of Asian Studies Center at St. Anthony's College, Oxford University, adding that the referendum might have heightened tensions and pushed an emotional voter over the edge.

''Elections in Taiwan are always emotional and when the referendum issue was raised, it all became much more emotional and passionate,'' Tsang said. ''That could well have had the effect of turning one person to doing something very, very silly.''

Tsang said it was ''inconceivable'' the opposition or the Chinese government could have been behind the attack.

Chen enjoys street campaigning and frequently wades into big crowds. Security is relatively relaxed because there's no tradition of violence against leaders on the island, and Chen and Lu were not wearing bulletproof vests.

People were setting off celebratory fireworks as the vehicle drove by, and early reports said the injuries were caused by firecrackers.

''The vice president first felt pain in her knee and she thought it was caused by firecrackers,'' said Chiou I-jen, secretary-general in the Presidential Office. ''Then the president felt some wetness on his stomach area, and then they realized something was wrong.''

After the shooting, the president ''was very conscious and he walked into our emergency room,'' said Chan Chi-hsien, head of Chi Mei Hospital.

His supporters gathered outside the hospital, chanting for his victory in the election. Some waved green flags, the color of Chen's Democratic Progressive Party.

Chen left the hospital about five hours later and returned to Taipei.

Doctors showed photos of a 4-inch-long wound just under Chen's navel. Chan said the bullet didn't penetrate deeply and no internal organs were damaged.

Hundreds of people flocked to Chen's downtown Taipei campaign headquarters Friday night to show their support for the president. The opposition Nationalist Party condemned the attack.

''We were very, very shocked,'' said Lien Chan, Chen's election opponent. ''We wish President Chen and Vice President Lu will recover soon. We strongly condemn any form of violence.''

Chen has accused the Nationalist Party of involvement in a 1985 incident in which his wife, Wu Shu-chen, was run over three times by a truck, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. The truck driver and party insisted it was an accident, and the driver wasn't charged.

The election has been an emotional race dominated by negative campaigning even though Lien and Chen agree on most of the basic issues involving China policy. Neither candidate favors immediate unification, and both are highly distrustful of the Communist leadership.

Chen has been more aggressive in pushing for a Taiwanese identity separate from China, raising tensions with Beijing.

Terrorist act in Taiwan mustn't disrupt election 
Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan)

The incident was something that should not have taken place in a democratic society. It was a barbarous act that deserves to be harshly condemned. Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian was shot and injured Friday. Fortunately, his injuries reportedly were not life threatening. We sincerely hope he will recover as soon as possible. The incident happened on the campaign trail the day before the presidential election. The shooting was an act of political terrorism against a candidate in a democratic election that will determine Taiwan's future. Nothing is known about the suspect's identity or the background to the attack. We urge Taiwan's law-enforcement authorities to make the utmost efforts not only to arrest the suspect, but also to clarify the whole picture of the incident. The presidential election is a neck-and-neck race between Chen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and opposition candidate Lien Chen of the Chinese Nationalist Party. === 

Poll symbolizes progress This will be the third time for the president of Taiwan to be elected by direct vote. The direct election is meant to put the finishing touches to Taiwan's democratization process, which started in the mid-1980s. Taiwan, which was isolated in the international community in the early 1970s, was able to make its presence felt in the world thanks to its remarkable economic growth and progress in democratization. The international community was no longer able to ignore the democratized Taiwan. Following the lifting of martial law, it became possible to form political parties in Taiwan, ending the despotic government by the Nationalist Party. With this, Taiwan moved toward a multiparty system. In this regard, democratization and "Taiwanization" are two sides of the same coin, and the people of Taiwan have become gradually aware of their identity as Taiwanese. The presidential election is a symbol of Taiwan's democratization. In the presidential election four years ago, Chen, who led the DPP, then in opposition, defeated his Nationalist Party rival. It was the first time for the Nationalist Party to become an opposition party. To achieve its victory, the DPP certainly took advantage of divisions within the Nationalist Party. But against the background of the political changeover was people's deepening awareness of their identity as Taiwanese. === 

Let voters decide The handover of political power through elections takes place only in democratic societies. It should be people's votes that decide where political power lies. During campaigning for Saturday's race, there has been a heated war of words over Taiwan's relationship with China. Chen claimed that both China and Taiwan are states, insisting that Taiwan should build a more independent relationship with China. On the other hand, Lien stressed the need to improve Taiwan's relationship with China, shelving disputes over Taiwan's sovereignty concerning whether Taiwan should be unified with China or become independent. A single bullet should not decide Taiwan's future and its relationship with China. The presidential vote will go ahead as planned on Saturday. We hope the election will be unaffected by the shooting and that it will confirm the fact that a democratic political system has taken root in Taiwan. 

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 20)

陳呂中槍傷勢穩定 大選照常
林淑玲、陳嘉宏、蕭旭岑、翁順利、汪慧星/中國時報 台北報導  3/20/04  8:am (Taipei time)


(2004/03/20)  為台灣祈福






陳總統神情略顯疲憊地表示,非常感謝國人同胞的關心,在醫護人員的悉心照顧之下,他沒有問題,請大家放心。在事件發生之後,國安單位及政府相關因應機制已經啟動,台灣的安全沒有問題,請大家能夠安心。 副總統呂秀蓮表示,總統跟她有驚無險,安然無恙,本來總統和副總統就是要為全國同胞擋風、擋雨,請各位寬心。她並呼籲民眾,在總統大選及公民投票重要日子,務必行使神聖的國家主人權利,一定要去投票。








陳水扁總統及副總統呂秀蓮遭到槍擊受傷已成為全球新聞焦點,台灣駐世界貿易組織 (WTO)代表團今天上午接獲許多國家代表團的慰問及關切電話。





陳總統呂副總統受槍傷 達賴親筆信關心祝禱    中央社



陳水扁遇襲日相小泉及官房長官同表慰問之意    中央社



陳水扁遇襲 日本國會議員發表聲明譴責暴力       2004.03.19   中央社







蘇進強:全國應譴責槍擊國家元首恐怖行動    中央社









陳呂遭槍擊/台南事發現場兩顆彈殼 傳警方鎖定可疑人等
2004/03/19 19:41








張俊雄:民主道路打不倒 陳總統明天會投票     中央社









奇美醫院:一切正常處理 外界傳言不正確 2004.03.20 中國時報【郭一新/綜合報導】






自由時報 社論    中華民國93年3月20日星期六 8:00am (Taipei time)












Suspect: 170cm中年男子 孤身行刺
王守成、吳俊陵/台南報導、黃文博、吳俊陵、王守成/台北報導  3/20/04













Suspect (2): 專案私下研判:兇手一人鎖定扁
廖嘯龍、蔡旻岳/台北報導  3/20/04










陳呂遭槍擊/黃衣藍褲禿頭男 警方列可疑對象清查
2004/03/26 10:47





呂秀蓮發表「319中彈紀實」:陳總統與她正好互換位子 傳新聞簡訊給朋友

記者吳育玟/台北報導  2004/04/04 22:58



三一九中彈紀實 呂秀蓮2004.4.4.
















第一、 陳總統與我確實在三月十九日下午遭受槍擊,絕非虛構。
第二、 第一槍中彈的是我,最先發現擋風玻璃彈孔的是我的座車隨扈,因此最先認知槍擊事件的是我。
第三、 案發時車隊綿延行駛,民眾夾道而立,鞭炮煙硝四起,我中彈後力持鎮定,只催促速離現場,並未大呼小叫,因此安全人員除吉普車隨行者外,根本不知已發生意外。我曾研判若大驚小怪,非但無濟於事,恐徒增慌亂,或更予歹徒再行狙殺之機。
第四、 我因一週前腳傷而坐高椅,並用兩箱礦泉水紙箱墊高右腳,致右膝蓋正好擋住子彈而未傷及身體;又因當天穿上厚軟的絲絨長褲並套棉質護膝,因此穿透擋風玻璃射擊過來的銅質子彈沒有貫穿我的膝蓋骨頭,只銼傷二公分肌肉之後反彈掉落在紙箱縫隙間,堪稱一奇。
第五、 擊中陳總統的鉛質土製子彈從他夾克的右前方穿透白襯衫和內衣,在下腹部刮破長十二公分,深二公分的傷口之後,再穿透內衣和白襯衫,停留在夾克左邊的襯底,而未穿出來打到我,也是不幸中的萬幸。