Thursday, June 20, 2024

Four instructors from Iowa’s Cornell college stabbed in public park in China

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Four instructors from a prestigious American college have been stabbed in a public park in northeastern China, during a visit to a partnering university.

The instructors from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, were injured in the attack by an unknown assailant during a walk in a ​​park in Jilin City, part of Jilin province in northern China, according to the school.

The four were with a faculty member from their partner institution, Beihua University, when they were injured “in a serious incident”, school president Jonathan Brand said in a statement to the college community.

“We have been in contact with all four instructors and are assisting them during this time,” Mr Brand said.

The US State Department has been made aware of the incident and they are monitoring the situation, he said. No student from the US was part of the exchange programme, the school said.

The Chinese authorities are yet to respond to the incident and images and a video of the injured, which were shared on social media, have reportedly been censored on Chinese platforms.

Iowa representative Ashley Hinson said in a post on X: “My team has been in communication with Cornell College and will do everything in our power to bring these Iowans home safely.”

“Join me in praying for their health and safety.”

Iowa governor Kim Reynolds said: “I am in touch with Iowa’s federal delegation and the state department in response to this horrifying attack. Please pray for their full recovery, safe return, and their families here at home.”

Iowa senator Joni Ernst also said her team was “closely following reports that personnel from Cornell college in Mt Vernon were stabbed in China”.

“We are in touch with the college and the State Department, and stand ready to further assist these Iowans. Praying for a speedy recovery for all,” she said on X.

According to CBS News, Iowa representative Adam Zabner’s brother David is one of the injured in the stabbing incident.

He told the outlet that his brother had been stabbed in the arm at Beishan Park and was recovering in hospital. “He has not yet been released this morning but he’s doing ok,” he said.

It was not clear if the instructors were specifically targeted.

The partnership between Cornell College and Beihua University started in 2018. A news release from the same year noted that Beihua University funds Cornell professors’ trips to China, where they reside and teach computer science, mathematics, and physics over a two-week period.

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