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Four Cornell College tutors stabbed in China park attack: US officials

In News, World
June 11, 2024

The group, on a visit to a partner university in northeast China’s Jilin province, were attacked while visiting a temple.

Four American tutors from a small Iowa university have been injured in a stabbing attack in a public park in northeast China’s Jilin province, according to United States media and US government officials.

Iowa Representative Adam Zabner told the Reuters news agency on Monday that his brother was one of the victims, who are all from Cornell College.

“My brother, David Zabner, was wounded in the arm during a stabbing attack while visiting a temple in Jilin City, China,” he said.

The group had been visiting a temple in Beishan Park when they were attacked by a man with a knife, he added. There were no reports of a motive.

A video of people lying on the ground in a park covered in blood was circulating on the social media platform X on Monday, although there was no sign of the images on Chinese social media. Reuters was able to identify the location based on Chinese characters written on a wall, the wall’s structure and the layout of the path. Reuters was not able to confirm when the video was shot.

No statements on the incident have been issued by Chinese authorities or reports found in Chinese media.

“I spoke to David a few minutes ago, he is recovering from his injuries and doing well. My family is incredibly grateful that David survived this attack,” Adam Zabner said.

The Cornell College tutors were visiting Beihua, a partner university in Jilin City.

Cornell College said they had been teaching “as part of a partnership with a university in China”.

“We are working through proper channels and requesting to speak with the US Embassy on appropriate matters to ensure that the victims first receive quality care for their injuries and then get out of China in a medically feasible manner,” Iowa’s Congress representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks wrote on X.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds wrote on X that she was in touch with the US State Department on the “horrifying” attack.

College spokesperson Jen Visser told US broadcast network CNN that the US State Department was aware of reports of a stabbing incident in China and was monitoring the situation.

China’s President Xi Jinping this year pledged to invite 50,000 young Americans to China for study programmes to boost people-to-people ties, but a US State Department Level 3 travel advisory to China warning of possible arbitrary detention and exit bans remains in place.

There are fewer than 900 American exchange students studying in China compared with more than 290,000 Chinese students in the United States, according to US data.

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