China stabbing: Iowa instructor describes moment of attack

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Mr Zabner was identified as one of the victims by his brother, Iowa Representative Adam Zabner. His brother said David was a Tufts University doctoral student who had visited China before and was on his second trip to the country with Cornell College.

The school in Mount Vernon, Iowa, began a partnership with Beihua University in 2018 to provide money for Cornell professors to live in China and teach a part of a course over a two-week period.

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

Mr Zabner said he first participated in the Cornell-Beihua program in 2019 to teach computer science classes.

He said it was cold outside during his first visit to the country and was excited for this trip because it was the summer months, he told Iowa Public Radio.

Mr Zabner’s brother, Adam, told the BBC the US State Department and Iowa’s federal delegation were working to bring him back.

“My family is incredibly grateful that David survived this attack,” he said.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday on X, previously known as Twitter, that the US was “deeply concerned” by the stabbing.

He said his team had been in touch with their Chinese counterparts and the victims of the attack to ensure they were receiving help and that “appropriate law enforcement steps are being taken”.

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