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US condemns brutal stabbing attack on Cornell College lecturers in China: ‘propaganda of hatred against foreigners’

In a brutal incident, four US university lecturers were injured after a “brutal attack” in a Chinese public park.

Tourists pass a gate with the name “Beishan” visible at Beishan Park in northeast China’s Jilin Province, Jan. 23, 2020. Four instructors from Cornell College in Iowa teaching at Beihua University in northeast China were attacked at Beishan Public Park, reportedly with a knife, June 11, 2024 (Zhu Wanchang/CNS Photos via AP)

Videos circulating on social media show one woman and two men, one of whom was soaked in blood, lying on the ground in Beishan Park in central Jilin, which is home to numerous temples.

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After the unprovoked attack, the instructors were taken to hospital where they are being treated for injuries that are not life-threatening.

Meanwhile, Cornell College President Jonathan Brand issued a statement revealing that the instructors were accompanied by a Beihua University faculty member. The private school in Mount Vernon collaborated with Beihua University in the eastern Chinese city of Jilin, according to Cornell spokeswoman Jen Visser.

The extent of their injuries and whether it was a deliberate or accidental attack remain unknown. Visser said that university authorities are still collecting information about the incident.

In response to Hinson’s post, one user wrote: “There is pervasive hate propaganda against foreigners on Chinese social media in China. Ultranationalists blame foreigners for everything.”

“The government is doing absolutely nothing to prevent hate, stabbings, car attacks, etc. Every country should issue a travel warning to China.”

Commenting on the incident, Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, noted that she was “horrified” and that her team is in contact with Cornell College and will do everything in its power to ensure their safe return.

“Footling nationalism and hatred towards foreigners probably has a lot to do with it too,” another responded.

Iowa state representative Adam Zabner said his brother David was among those attacked in China. He claimed that the four were visiting a local temple on Monday when the attacker stabbed them.

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Chinese police confirm the arrest of the suspect

Meanwhile, Chinese police and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the incident and arrested the suspect.

The Public Security Bureau of Jilin’s Chuanying District said a 55-year-old man named Cui was detained on suspicion of stabbing, while four Americans and a Chinese tourist tried to stop the crime.

The unprecedented attack on Americans comes as China tries to repair relations with the US and revive tourism to help shore up its lagging economy after three years of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

A State Department representative said US authorities were aware of the reports and were monitoring the situation, but did not provide further details.

Police have initially determined that this is an isolated incident and are currently conducting additional investigations.

Over the past 10 years, the number of U.S. citizens studying in China has declined dramatically. According to American data, there are approximately 300,000 Chinese students studying in the United States, while fewer than 900 Americans study in China.