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China describes knife attack on US trainer as ‘isolated’ – DW – 11.06.2024

China’s Foreign Ministry said it had launched an investigation into the stabbing attack on four university lecturers visiting from the United States in a public park in the northeastern city of Jilin.

Authorities said the incident was accidental and none of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries.

What Beijing said

“All the injured have been taken to hospital … and given appropriate treatment; none of them are in critical condition,” spokesman Lin Jian told reporters at the Foreign Ministry’s regular afternoon press conference. The group had been visiting a temple in the city’s Beishan Park when they were attacked by a man with a knife.

“The police are currently assuming that this is an isolated incident. Further investigations are ongoing.”

“China is generally considered one of the safest countries in the world,” Lin added.

“China … will continue to take corresponding measures to effectively protect the safety of all foreigners in China. This isolated case will not affect the normal development of people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States,” he said.

USA seeks safe return

The US State Department said it would work to ensure the safe return of the lecturers who had been on an exchange program at Cornell College in Iowa and was monitoring the situation.

“We are using appropriate channels and requesting to speak with the U.S. Embassy on appropriate matters to ensure that victims first receive quality treatment for their injuries and then can leave China in a medically feasible manner,” Iowa Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Monday was the Dragon Boat Festival holiday in China. Cornell College said the lecturers were attacked while visiting the park with a faculty colleague in Beihua, a suburb of Jilin.

The attack came amid efforts by the United States and China to increase people-to-people exchanges to improve their relations.

In China, news of the incident was reportedly suppressed, with no news media reporting on it. A social media hashtag about the attack was apparently blocked on a popular platform.

rc/kb (AFP, dpa, Reuters)