Four American college instructors were stabbed in a public park in China

Police have arrested a 55-year-old man after four American university professors were stabbed in a public park in China.

Iowa Cornell College instructors were taken to the hospital after a “serious incident” during a daylight attack in the northern province of Jilin, a college statement said.

Iowa Rep. Adam Zapner said his brother David was one of four instructors injured in the stabbing.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said none of the injured were in life-threatening condition.

Police said the attacker, surnamed Cui, confronted an American and then stabbed the man. He injured three other American visitors and a Chinese tourist who tried to save them.

Mr Zapner said the group of instructors were on their way to a local temple on Monday when they were attacked by a man with a knife.

He said his brother was stabbed in the arm at Peasion Park in Jilin city and is recovering in hospital.

“My family are incredibly grateful that David survived the attack,” she told the BBC.

“We want to visit David’s house in Iowa soon,” he added. “We’re very grateful to the state department and Iowa’s federal representatives and understand they’re working hard to make it happen.”

Cornell College said the four instructors taught “as part of a partnership with a university in China.” During Monday’s visit to the park, the team was accompanied by a member of the Beihua University.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said police believed the attack was “an isolated incident” and that “China is one of the safest countries in the world”.

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“We hope this will not affect relations with other countries,” he added.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on X/Twitter that the US was “deeply concerned” by the stabbing.

“Our team is in contact with these Americans and our PRC counterparts to ensure that the needs of the victims are met, and appropriate law enforcement actions are taken,” he said. “We wish them a speedy recovery.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she had been in contact with the department about the “horrifying” attack.

“Please pray for their full recovery, safe return and their families at home,” he wrote on X/Twitter.

Images of the incident circulating online show at least three people bleeding and lying on the ground.

However, the images appear to have been quickly censored on the Chinese internet.

On Tuesday, despite popular search terms on Weibo, searches for terms such as “foreigner Jilin” yielded no results.

Internet users instead sought discussions under adjacent topics, with some asking for more information about the incident.

Online commentator Hu Xijin, formerly the editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times, had previously posted on Weibo that China was increasing the number of foreign visitors and that the Chinese were “generally friendly” to them. He described the incident as a chance event.

The post has since been removed.

Chinese state media also reported on the incident.

Mr. Zapner said his brother, a doctoral student at Tufts University, had visited China before and was on his second trip with Cornell College.

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According to Cornell’s 2018 news release, the American school that year partnered with Beihua University to award money to Cornell professors living in China to teach part of a course for a two-week period.

The partnership focused on computer science, mathematics and physics, Cornell said at the time.

Beihua University serves 24,000 students in the northeastern Chinese city of 4.4 million people.

Amid strained diplomatic ties, Beijing and Washington have recently sought to re-establish people-to-people exchanges.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has unveiled a plan to invite 50,000 young Americans to China over the next five years, while Chinese diplomats say the US State Department’s travel advisory has discouraged Americans from visiting China.

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