Friday, June 21, 2024

Man Arrested After American Instructors Stabbed In China—Here’s What To Know

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A 55-year-old suspect was arrested Tuesday in the stabbing of four American instructors, who were attacked in a public park while on a teaching trip to China, according to Chinese officials, who said the incident would not impact relations with the U.S.

Key Facts

The four instructors, who were traveling from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, were allegedly attacked by Cui Dapang as they walked through Beishan Park in Jilin City, China, on Monday, according to local reports translated by Time Magazine.

Cui “collided into a foreigner” while walking in the park before attacking the four instructors and a Chinese tourist with a knife, Jilin City police reportedly said, adding none of the victims were in life-threatening condition.

Lin Jian, spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, told reporters Tuesday Jilin City police determined the attack was an “isolated incident,” according to CNN.

Iowa state Rep. Adam Zabner wrote on social media his brother David was among the victims, saying David was “wounded in the arm” in the attack, though he was “recovering from his injuries and doing well.”

Cornell College President Jonathan Brand told Forbes in a statement the college was in contact with the instructors and “are assisting them during this time.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she was “in touch” with the state’s federal delegation and the State Department about the “horrifying attack,” while Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, said she was in contact with Cornell College and would “do everything in our power to bring these Iowans home safely.”

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What To Watch For

The State Department said the agency was “aware of reports of a stabbing incident in Jilin” and would monitor the situation.

Crucial Quote

Lin said the incident would likely not affect China’s relationship with the U.S.: “Carrying out people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and the United States is in the common interests of both sides,” adding China has “taken effective measures” to protect “the safety of all foreigners in China.”

What We Don’t Know

The other victims have not been publicly identified. They are instructors who were traveling to Jilin City as part of Cornell College’s partnership with Beihua University, which pays Cornell professors to teach courses at the Chinese university over two weeks. The program’s courses cover computer science, math and physics, according to Cornell College.

Key Background

China has increasingly welcomed American educators to the country in recent years. In November, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would invite 50,000 Americans to China for exchange and study programs over the next five years, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency. Xi said the education exchanges would help build ties with the U.S., including the development of “youth ambassadors” who understand both countries.

Further Reading

TIME4 Americans ‘Brutally Stabbed’ in China: What We Know So Far

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