Four university lecturers from a prestigious American college have been stabbed in a Chinese public park.

The group, which all teach at Cornell College, in Mount Vernon, Iowa, were on a trip to visit a partnered institution, Beihua University, when the attack took place.

An assailant “brutally attacked” staff from the liberal arts college with a knife whilst they were walking in a park in Jilin City, in northern China.

Jonathan Brand, president of the college, said: “We have been in contact with all four instructors and are assisting them during this time.”

Four university lecturers from a prestigious American college have been stabbed in a Chinese public park


The US State Department is aware of the incident and said they are monitoring the situation, he said. He also added that no students had been participating in the programme.

Chinese police said a suspect, a 55-year-old man, had been arrested following the attack.

Photos and videos of several people lying on the ground, soaked in blood, have been circulated on social media. However, news of the incident in China has been heavily censored.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lin Jian told reporters at a daily briefing today: “The police have preliminarily judged that this was a random incident but an investigation is ongoing.


Cornell University

The staff were all from Cornell College, a prestigious Ivy League university

Wikimedia Commons

“All the injured individuals were immediately taken to the hospital and were given appropriate critical care, no one’s life is in danger.”

Iowa Representative Adam Zanber confirmed that his brother was among the victims.

He said: “My brother, David, was wounded in the arm during a stabbing attack while visiting a temple in Jilin City, China.

“I spoke to David… He is recovering from his injuries and doing well. My family is incredibly grateful that David survived this attack.”

Pedestrian in Kunming city, China - stock photo

The four were visiting a park in Jilin City, in northern China (not pictured) when the attack took place


Responding to the incident, Congress Representative Ashley Hinson on Monday wrote on social media: “Horrified that multiple Cornell College faculty members were brutally stabbed in China. My team has been in communication with Cornell College & will do everything in our power to bring these Iowans home safely. Join me in praying for their health & safety.”

Governor Kim Reynolds said that she is “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”.

It is not yet clear if the instructor were targeted specifically.

The partnership between the two institutions began in 2018 and Beihua University funds a two-week trip for Cornell’s professors to China, as part of the deal.