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11 June 2024

Man arrested over stabbing of four US college instructors in Chinese park

11 June 2024

A suspect has been arrested over the stabbing of four instructors from Iowa’s Cornell College who were teaching at a Chinese university in the north-east city of Jilin.

Police said a 55-year old man with the surname Cui was walking in a public park when he bumped into a foreigner.

He then stabbed the foreigner and three other foreigners who were with him and a Chinese person who approached in an attempt to intervene, police said.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday that the injured, none of whom were in a critical condition, were taken to hospital for treatment.

Police believe Monday’s attack was an isolated incident, based on a preliminary assessment, and the investigation is ongoing, ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said at a daily briefing.

I spoke to David a few minutes ago, he is recovering from his injuries and doing well

Cornell College president Jonathan Brand said in a statement that the instructors were attacked while in the park with a faculty member from Beihua, which is in an outlying part of the industrial city of Jilin.

Monday was a public holiday in China.

The US State Department said in a statement it was aware of reports of a stabbing and was monitoring the situation.

The attack happened as both Beijing and Washington are seeking to expand people-to-people exchanges to help bolster relations amid tensions over trade and such international issues as Taiwan, the South China Sea and the war in Ukraine.

An Iowa state legislator posted a statement on Instagram saying his brother, David Zabner, had been wounded during a stabbing attack in Jilin.

Adam Zabner described his brother as a doctoral student at Tufts University who was in China under the Cornell-Beihua relationship.

“I spoke to David a few minutes ago, he is recovering from his injuries and doing well,” Mr Zabner wrote, adding that his brother was grateful for the care he received at a hospital.

News of the incident was suppressed in China, where the government maintains control on information about anything considered sensitive.

News media outlets had not reported it.

Some social media accounts posted foreign media reports about the attack, but a hashtag about it was blocked on a popular portal and photos and video of the incident were quickly taken down.

Cornell spokesperson Jen Visser said in an email that the college was still gathering information about what happened.

Ms Visser said the private college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, partners with Beihua University.

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