Four US College Instructors Stabbed In Public Park In China

Four US university tutors are in hospital after they were stabbed by an unknown assailant at a public park in China.

The Iowa Cornell College instructors were injured in a "serious incident" during a daytime visit to the park in the northern province of Jilin, a college statement said.

Iowa Representative Adam Zabner said his brother, David, was one of the four instructors injured in the incident, which he described as a stabbing.

China's foreign ministry says that none of the injured are in a life-threatening condition.

Mr Zabner said the group had been visiting a local temple on Monday when they were attacked by a man with a knife.

He said his brother had been stabbed in the arm at Beishan Park in Jilin city and was recovering in hospital.

"He has not yet been released this morning but he's doing ok," he told CBS News.

Cornell College said the four instructors had been teaching "as part of a partnership with a university in China". The group had been accompanied by a member of Beihua University at the time of their visit to the park on Monday.

China's foreign ministry that the injured were immediately rushed to hospital where they received treatment.

Spokesperson Lin Jian would not answer questions about whether the assailant was in custody, adding that further investigation was needed.

"This was an isolated incident and the investigation continues. China is widely considered one of the safest countries in the world and China will continue to take relevant measures to ensure that foreigners are safe in the country.

"We believe this will not damage relations with other countries," he said.

A US State Department spokesperson had earlier told the BBC they were aware of reports of a stabbing incident in Jilin, but could not provide more information.

Images circulating appear to show at least three people bleeding and lying on the ground.

However the incident appears to have been quickly censored on China's internet.

On Tuesday, searches for terms such as "foreigners Jilin" produced no results despite the search term trending on Weibo.

Internet users instead resorted to discussions under adjacent topics while some were also seen asking for more information about the incident.

Online commentator Hu Xijin, who is formerly the chief editor of China's Global Times, had earlier posted on Weibo that China has been seeing a growing number of foreign visitors and the Chinese are "typically friendly" toward them. He described the incident as a "chance event".

The post has since been removed.

There are also few reports about the incident in Chinese state media.

Mr Zabner said his brother, a Tufts University doctoral student, had visited China before and was on his second trip to the country with Cornell College.

Amid tense diplomatic relations, Beijing and Washington have sought to re-establish people-to-people exchanges in recent times.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has unveiled a plan to invite 50,000 young Americans to China in the next five years, while Chinese diplomats say a travel advisory by the US State Department has discouraged Americans from going to China.