Four staff from Iowa college stabbed in China's Jilin City

June 11, 2024

Four staff from a US university have been stabbed in a park in northeast China.

Video on social media showed blood-stained people lying on the ground and being put into ambulances.

Iowa politician Adam Zabner said his brother was among the victims and the group had been visiting a temple in Beishan Park, Jilin City.

"I spoke to David... he is recovering from his injuries and doing well. My family is incredibly grateful that David survived this attack," said Mr Zabner.

The group from Iowa's Cornell College were on a teaching exchange programme with Jilin's Beihua university.

Cornell's president, Jonathan Bran, said the four instructors were with a faculty member from the university when they were stabbed.

A wanted poster was released, but police later said a suspect aged 55 was detained the same day. The motive is unclear.

China's foreign ministry said it appeared to be a random incident.

"All the injured individuals were immediately taken to the hospital and were given appropriate critical care, no one's life is in danger," said a spokesperson.

The US State Department said it was aware of a "stabbing incident" and was monitoring the situation.

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Iowa's Congress representative, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, wrote on X: "We are working through proper channels and requesting to speak with the U.S. 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."

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to invite 50,000 Americans to study in the country this year.

There are currently fewer than 900 in the country compared with more than 290,000 in the States, according to US figures

The State Department still has a Level 3 travel advisory in place for mainland China, urging Americans to "reconsider" travelling there.

It warns of the possibility of "arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions".

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