4 US university lecturers teaching at a Chinese university attacked in a public park

BEIJING – Four faculty members from Cornell College in Iowa who teach at Beihua University in northeast China were reportedly attacked with a knife in a public park, officials at the U.S. university and State Department said.

4 US university lecturers teaching at a Chinese university attacked in a public park

There was no initial comment from Chinese authorities on Monday’s reports.

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Jonathan Brand, president of Cornell College, said in a statement that the lecturers were attacked while they were in the park with a faculty member from Beihua, a suburb of the industrial city of Jilin.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was aware of the reports of the stabbing and was monitoring the situation.

Details on the extent of the instructors’ injuries and whether the attack was targeted or accidental were unclear Monday. Cornell spokeswoman Jen Visser said in an email that the college was still gathering information on the incident.

In China, news of the incident was suppressed because the government maintains control over all information deemed sensitive. News media had not reported on it. Some social media accounts posted foreign media reports about the attack, but a hashtag about it was blocked on a popular portal.

The attack came amid tensions over trade and international issues such as Taiwan, the South China Sea and the war in Ukraine, with both Beijing and Washington seeking to maintain people-to-people exchanges to strengthen ties.

Visser, the Cornell spokesman, said the private college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is working with Beihua University. A college press release from 2018, when the program began, said Beihua was funding Cornell professors’ trips to China to teach a portion of computer science, math and physics courses over a two-week period.

According to a 2020 post on Beihua’s website, the Chinese university uses American teaching methods and resources to provide engineering students with an international perspective and English proficiency.

About a third of the core courses in this particular program are taught by American professors and based on U.S. textbooks, according to the post. Students can apply to Cornell College for two years of their four-year education and earn degrees from both institutions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has unveiled a plan to invite 50,000 young Americans to China over the next five years, but Chinese diplomats say a U.S. State Department travel warning is deterring Americans from traveling to China.

Citing arbitrary detentions and travel bans that could prevent Americans from leaving the country, the State Department has issued a Level 3 travel advisory — the second-highest level of alert — for mainland China, urging Americans to “reconsider travel to China.”

Some American universities have suspended their China programs due to the travel warning.

Tang reported from Washington.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without any modifications.