Trump aids play­ers’ re­lease from China

Daily News - - WORLD -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Three UCLA bas­ket­ball play­ers de­tained in China on sus­pi­cion of shoplift­ing ar­rived back in the US yes­ter­day af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he had sought the help of Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in the case.

The play­ers landed at Los An­ge­les In­ter­na­tional Air­port yes­ter­day evening, their heads down. The three – LiAn­gelo Ball, Cody Ri­ley and Jalen Hill – de­clined to speak to throngs of re­porters.

“What they did was un­for­tu­nate,” Trump said in Manila. He said the trio, who had been held since last week, could have faced long prison sen­tences. Trump de­scribed Xi’s re­sponse as “ter­rific”.

Trump had raised the is­sue with Xi at a din­ner held dur­ing Trump’s Novem­ber 8-10 visit to Bei­jing.

Asked about Trump’s dis­cussing the is­sue with Xi, China For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said he was un­able to give fur­ther de­tails.

The play­ers, from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, were de­tained in the city of Hangzhou and were taken in for ques­tion­ing about al­leged shoplift­ing from a Louis Vuit­ton store. – Reuters

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