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Four American Teachers Stabbed While Visiting China Temple


Four American educators were injured in a knife attack while visiting a temple in northeast China on Monday, US officials said.

China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday said the incident was a random attack and that it would “not affect normal exchanges between the peoples of the United States and China”.

Iowa Representative Adam Zabner said his brother, David Zabner, was among the victims. “My brother, David Zabner, was wounded in the arm during a stabbing attack while visiting a temple in Jilin City, China,” he said.

“I spoke to David a few minutes ago; he is recovering from his injuries and doing well. My family is incredibly grateful that David survived this attack,” Zabner said.

The educators from Cornell College, a small Iowa university, were attacked by a man with a knife while visiting a temple in Beishan Park. There is no reported motive for the attack so far.

Video Evidence

A video showing people lying on the ground covered in blood circulated on social media platform X on Monday. However, the images could not be found on Chinese social media. Reuters identified the video’s location by analysing Chinese characters on a wall and the park’s layout. But the video’s shooting time remains unconfirmed.

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Chinese authorities have not issued any statement regarding the incident, and there have been no reports in Chinese media.

The educators were in Jilin City to visit their partner university, Beihua. Iowa Congress representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks stated on X that they are working with the U.S. Embassy to ensure the victims receive proper medical care and can return to the U.S. safely. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also commented on the “horrifying” attack, and said she was in touch with the U.S. State Department.

Cornell College spokesperson Jen Visser told CNN the State Department is aware of the incident and is monitoring the situation closely.

Context and Current Relations

China’s President Xi Jinping has pledged to invite 50,000 young Americans to China for study programmes to strengthen people-to-people ties. However, a State Department Level 3 travel advisory for China warns of possible arbitrary detention and exit bans. Currently, fewer than 900 American exchange students are studying in China, compared to over 290,000 Chinese students in the United States, according to U.S. data.

With Inputs from Reuters