Four American college instructors stabbed in China, suspect arrested : NPR

People gather around four American teachers from the University of Iowa who were stabbed in a public park in Jilin City in China’s Jilin province, seen in this image from a video obtained by Reuters and published on Monday.


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Four American college instructors in Iowa were injured in a stabbing in China, Chinese authorities said.

Police in China’s northeastern Jilin province said Tuesday that four victims were being treated for non-life-threatening wounds and that they had arrested a man in connection with the stabbing.

The man detained by police, a 55-year-old Jilin resident surnamed Cui, is suspected of stabbing four American instructors in the city’s Beishan Park on Monday, police said. The statement said that the suspect was walking in the park when he bumped into one of the Americans and then stabbed the instructor and three other American instructors, as well as a Chinese passer-by who tried to intervene.

Violent attacks are relatively rare in China, and Beishan Park is a tourist destination full of temples, water features and landscaped paths.

Four instructors visited China from Cornell College, a small private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, that has had an academic partnership with Beihua University in Jilin since 2018.

Iowa officials say they have contacted both the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the victims’ families. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan wrote on social media that the United States was “deeply concerned” about the incident.

Since lifting pandemic-era travel restrictions nearly two years ago, China has been trying to attract more foreign visitors and companies. It has expanded visa-free travel to 11 European countries and Malaysia, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has said he wants 50,000 young U.S. citizens to come to China on exchange and study abroad programs over the next five years.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian told a regularly scheduled news conference on Tuesday that the attack appeared to be an isolated incident.

However, analysts say that anti-Western sentiments in China have been growing in recent years, reinforced by growing nationalism and restrictions introduced during the pandemic.

Lin said the attack “will not affect normal trade between the nations of the United States and China.”