Four Cornell College instructors receiving treatment after ‘serious incident’ in China • Iowa Capital Dispatch

A suspect has been arrested in the crash that injured four Cornell College instructors, one of whom is the brother of Iowa Sen. Adam Zabner, on Monday while visiting a public park in Jilin City, China.

Mount Vernon College instructors taught at Beihua University as part of a partnership between the two universities, Cornell College President Jonathan Brand said in a statement. They were injured in a “serious accident” during a trip to the park, where they were accompanied by a researcher from Beihua University. Brand said no students participated in the program.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said at a news conference Tuesday that none of the instructors were in critical condition and while the incident was still under investigation, early assessments indicated it was an isolated incident.

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The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Jilin city police detained the stabbing suspect, a 55-year-old surnamed Ciu. According to a police statement, Ciu was walking in a park on Monday when he bumped into a foreigner and stabbed that person and three others.

David Zabner, Adam Zabner’s brother and a graduate student at Tufts University who was in China as part of the partnership, was injured in the arm during the fight, the representative said in a statement on social media. The lawmaker indicated that David was “recovering from his injuries and doing well” and that he thanked Beihua University for the warm welcome and the local hospital for the care it gave him.

“My family is incredibly grateful that David survived this attack,” Adam Zabner said in a statement. “We would like to see David back home in Iowa as soon as possible.”

The representative also thanked the Department of State and Iowa’s federal delegation, which he said were also working hard to bring the instructor home. U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks wrote on social media that she and her office are in contact with the Iowa family involved in the incident, as well as the Department of State and the U.S. Consulate in China, to ensure victims receive high-quality care and work on plans to return them to the US

US ambassador to China Nicholas Burns said on social media that he was “angry and deeply concerned” by the incident and he and others were doing what they could to support the victims.

Mount Vernon-based Cornell College began its partnership with Beihua University in 2018, according to a press release at the time, in which the Chinese college would provide funding for Cornell College instructors to live and teach in China for a two-week period. Teaching would focus on computer science, mathematics and physics.

Jian told a news conference that China is considered one of the safest countries in the world and this incident will not affect “people-to-people exchanges” between China and the U.S.

“We have taken and will continue to take effective measures to ensure the safety of all foreigners in China,” Jian said at a news conference.